by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Nov 13, 2011
A court in China has handed down the death penalty to three people for setting fire to a bar which then spread to a budget hotel, killing 11 people and leaving two others injured, state media reported.
The court in the northeastern province of Jilin found the three guilty of arson and sentenced them to death Saturday for setting fire to a basement bar in Tonghua city in May due to a row they had with the establishment's owner.
The fire spread to a karaoke bar and later to the guestrooms of a budget hotel chain, killing 11 hotel guests and firemen who had come to the rescue, the official Xinhua news agency said late Saturday.
According to a Xinhua report on May 1, the victims died of smoke inhalation from the fire, which also caused 1.8 million yuan ($280,000) in economic losses.
Qiao Shuping, deputy president of the Tonghua City People's Hospital, was quoted as saying at the time that the victims' main symptoms were dizziness, nausea and sore throats.
"Almost none of them suffered burns," Qiao said.
The court also found another two suspects guilty of arson on Saturday, but it was unclear what sentence they were given. The report did not identify any of the defendants.
Tonghua is an industrial city by the North Korean border.
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US offers disaster help to Asia-Pacific
Honolulu, Hawaii (AFP) Nov 11, 2011
The United States on Friday announced a new Internet platform to fight disasters across the Asia-Pacific region as it urged greater investment and cooperation to save lives and costs. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led a session of foreign ministers of the 21-member APEC bloc devoted to disaster resilience after a year of tragedy including earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand and floo ... read more
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