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4 people detained in connection with a fire at a Chinese trading company that killed 38 people

Four people have been arrested in connection with a fire at an industrial trading company in central China that killed 38 people, reports said on Wednesday.

The fire on Monday was caused by welding sparks that ignited cotton fabrics stored at a facility run by Kaixinda, authorities said.

According to state media, two company employees and two from a clothing company were detained, Anyang Mayor Gao Yong told reporters. They have not been formally arrested and it is not known what charges may be brought against them.

In addition to those killed, two people were injured in the fire, which took more than four hours to put out.

Gao said the city would carefully check all possible security threats in a city of more than 5 million people in central Henan province.

“This accident took such a huge toll on people’s lives that the lessons need to be understood at a very deep level,” said Gao.

The densely populated and economically significant region of Henan has seen a number of recent fatal incidents caused by security breaches and lax government oversight.

Five officials were arrested after a building collapsed that killed 53 people on the outskirts of Henan’s provincial capital Changsha in April.

The central government has pledged to tighten security measures since a 2015 explosion at a chemical warehouse in the northern port city of Tianjin killed 173 people, mostly firefighters and policemen. In this case, many local officials were accused of accepting bribes for ignoring security breaches.


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