Nine die as fire tears through factory where they live and work in Guangdong, China

Fire believed to have been caused by fireworks residue 

Caitlin Doherty
Saturday 17 February 2018 17:25
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Quingyuan City, Guangdong Province, China
Quingyuan City, Guangdong Province, China

Nine people have been killed by a fire that tore through a rubbish processing plant in China, trapping them in the rooms where they lived above the factory floor.

A number of staff at the plant in Quingyuan city lived with their families in "makeshift wooden rooms on the second floor" of the building, state news agency Xinhua said.

As the fire broke out, "garbage burnt and discharged heavy smoke and the victims were unable to escape".

"Preliminary investigation showed that fireworks residue initially caused the fire. When three workers were trying to put out the flames, an explosion occurred, killing more people living nearby," a report from the agency continued.

China has just begun the Lunar New Year holiday when fireworks and firecrackers are released in celebration.

Four people were killed and five more injured on Thursday after an explosion at a stall selling fireworks in southeastern China.

Fireworks have traditionally been a major part of Lunar New Year festivities, but authorities have cracked down on their use in recent years citing safety concerns and air pollution.

Agencies contributed to this report

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