Lotte outlets closed for violating fire codes

By Yu Jialan Source:Global Times Published: 2017/3/6 22:03:39

South Korea's Lotte Group said Monday more than 10 of its retail stores in China were closed following fire inspections by local authorities.

Those closed include two stores around the city of Dandong in Northeast China's Liaoning Province on the North Korean border, said a spokesman for Lotte Mart. The company had 115 stores in China as of January 2015, Reuters reported on Monday.

Two outlets in Anhui Province - one in Fengtai county and another in the city of Suzhou - were also closed due to potential fire hazards.

"Our supermarket has been closed since Monday to improve fire safety facilities," read a notice pasted on the door of the Fengtai Lotte Mart supermarket.

"I feel sorry that our supermarket had to be closed for a while during this fire control inspection, but I think it will reopen after we fix fire safety facilities," an employee at the Fengtai Lotte Mart, who asked not to be named, told the Global Times Monday.

According to the Suzhou fire department's Sina Weibo account, 30 establishments have been closed during inspections from February 6 to March 6.

The Suzhou fire department's notice states that the Suzhou Lotte Mart will be shut down for 30 days starting March 6 due to faulty fire alarm systems, sprinklers and fire escapes.

"The establishments were shut down over potential fire accidents. Many people have died in recent fire accidents, including 18 people at a foot massage store in Zhejiang Province," a female officer from the Anhui fire department, who asked for anonymity, told the Global Times Monday.

"I don't think it's linked to the anti-South Korea or anti-Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) sentiment. We have documents to prove that some facilities in the two Lotte Mart supermarkets failed to meet the requirements of the local fire department," she added.

The Dandong fire department, which is believed to have closed the Dandong Lotte Mart stores, declined to comment when contacted by the Global Times. "We are still investigating the closure and will release a public statement soon," a PR manager with Lotte Group in China surnamed Jin told the Global Times on Monday.


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