4 detained over China trading company fire that killed 38

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

Monday’s fire was caused by welding sparks that ignited cotton fabrics stored at a facility run by the Kaixinda company, authorities said.

Two of the company’s employees and two from a clothing company were arrested, Anyang Mayor Gao Yong told reporters on Tuesday evening, according to state media. They have not been officially arrested and it is not immediately clear what charges they may face.

In addition to the dead, two people were injured in the fire which took more than four hours to extinguish.

Gao said the city would thoroughly inspect all possible security risks in the city of more than 5 million people in central Henan province.

“This accident cost human life so dearly, the lessons need to be understood at a very deep level,” Gao said.

Henan, densely populated and economically important, has seen a number of recent deadly incidents attributed to breaches of security regulations and lax government supervision.

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

The central government has promised tougher security measures since a 2015 explosion at a chemical warehouse in the northern port city of Tianjin killed 173 people, mostly firefighters and police . In this case, a number of local officials were accused of accepting bribes to ignore security breaches.

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