8 detained, 58 officials receive disciplinary punishment for severe fire killing 42
Published: Aug 29, 2023 07:19 PM
Local fire and rescue detachment is working to extinguish the fire in Anyang, Central China's Henan Province on November 21. Photo: CCTV News

Local fire and rescue detachment is working to extinguish the fire in Anyang, Central China's Henan Province on November 21, 2022. File Photo: CCTV News

Eight people were under criminal detention and 58 officials were punished after a severe fire at a trade company in Anyang, Central China's Henan Province which killed 42 and injured two on November 21, 2022. 

The eight people with the company involved persons have been investigated for charges including (causing) major liability accident and major labor safety accident, an investigation report revealed on Tuesday. 

Three with local firefighting and police forces were under disciplinary investigation and prosecuted for neglect of duty. 

Another 55 officials from local firefighting, public security, emergency response, urban administration departments were punished in accordance with their mishaps. 

The extremely severe fire accident was resulted from serious violation and laws and regulation by people in charge of the company and neglect of duty by local Party committee, governments and related units, the investigation report concluded. 

Direct reason of the fire was illegal electrowelding at the first floor of the company's warehouse, which led fire to paper packages and the bottled polyurethane foam. They exploded and caused fire to a large amount of grease, paints, rust remover, bottled butane for cassette furnaces, plastic gloves and other rubber products. Those staff burned and spread quickly and produced a large amount of high-temperature toxic smoke, per the report. 

When the fire burst, firefighting facilities at the first floor were missing and at the second floor were shut down; people in charge failed to organize evacuation of employees in a timely and effective manner were a major reason for such a large scale of casualties.

The accident exposed that the company violated laws and regulations in production, local Party committee and governments did not conscientiously implement safety management responsibilities, the firefighting forces failed to supervise, inspect and rectify wrongdoings, the commercial department failed to supervise fire safety management of commercial venues, the police's routine firefighting checks and inspection were not in place, the emergency management department was not strict in ruling out safety production hazards, the natural resources department did not probe and punish illegal land use thoroughly, and the urban planning departments did not spot the fire safety issues in construction projects.

Global Times