At least 43 dead in China nightclub fire

September 20, 2008 8:04:52 PM PDT
A fire that swept through a nightclub in southern China has killed at least 43 people, a government safety official said Sunday.The fire, which broke out late Saturday, also injured at least 88 people, said the official with the Shenzhen Work Safety Bureau.

Like many Chinese officials, the man refused to give his name.

Shenzhen is just over the border with Hong Kong in Guangdong province.

The official Xinhua News Agency did not give a cause for the fire, which has been put out. It said senior government officials had ordered an investigation.

Fires and accidents in bars, theaters and other public places are common in China despite government pledges to improve safety.

Many are caused by negligence and lax safety procedures, such as a lack of fire extinguishers and emergency exits.

In China's worst recent nightclub disaster, a fire blamed on a welding accident tore through a disco in the central city of Luoyang in December 2000, killing 309 people.


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