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Papua New Guinea supermarket fire kills 10: reports
by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) Sept 25, 2017

Eleven killed in eastern China house fire
Shanghai (AFP) Sept 25, 2017 - Eleven people died when a blaze engulfed two houses early Monday in an eastern China city prone to fatal fire disasters, the government said.

The fire broke out shortly after midnight in the city of Taizhou in Zhejiang province, and left two other people hospitalised in serious condition, a local government statement said.

Ten more people sustained minor injuries.

The fire was soon brought under control and its cause was being investigated.

Deadly fires are common in China, where fire safety regulations are widely flouted and enforcement is often lax.

Taizhou has seen a number of deadly fires in recent years.

In 2007, at least 17 people were killed and several others injured when a fire engulfed a building of shops and apartments in Taizhou.

Sixteen people perished in 2014 when a fire tore through a shoe factory in the city, and another 18 died in February of this year in a blaze at a foot massage parlour on the city's outskirts.

Four people in charge of the massage establishment were detained following that disaster.

Ten people believed to be Chinese died when a supermarket caught fire in Papua New Guinea while they were sleeping, reports and officials said Monday.

The disaster at the Splendid Star shop was made worse by the lack of any proper fire-fighting equipment in Manus province in the impoverished Pacific nation's north, where the blaze started early Friday.

The dead included six women and four men.

Manus provincial police commander Chief Inspector David Yapu said the fire in Lorengau town quickly engulfed the building, trapping the 10 inside.

"The fire spread out quickly to the other parts of the supermarket and into the bedrooms where the 10 were sleeping," Yapu told The National newspaper.

"The six females and four males were trapped in the building and burnt to death."

The cause of the fire is not known.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in Beijing that the supermarket was run by Chinese nationals and said 10 were missing.

"There was a fire in a supermarket run by Chinese nationals in Papua New Guinea. Ten Chinese employees are missing," said Lu. "So far we have found four bodies at the scene."

The PNG Post Courier newspaper said the remains were burned beyond recognition and DNA samples were being taken to the capital Port Moresby to identify them.

But it said some of the dead had children back home in China.

According to The National, Manus does not have a fire truck or any firemen and although police were quickly at the scene, they were helpless.

"This is an outstanding issue that appropriate government agencies must address," Yapu said.

"We need a fire service in our province. We have to protect our families and our homes from fires too."

6.0-magnitude quake hits off Papua New Guinea
Sydney (AFP) Sept 25, 2017 - A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off Papua New Guinea on Tuesday, according to the United States Geological Survey, but no Pacific-wide tsunami warning was issued.

The tremor hit at a depth of five kilometres (three miles) near the sparsely-populated East New Britain region, some 210 kilometres southeast of the town of Kokopo, the USGS said.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a tsunami warning.

Earthquakes are common near Papua New Guinea, which lies on the 4,000-kilometre-long Pacific Australia plate.

It forms part of the "Ring of Fire", a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

Portuguese ex-firefighter jailed for starting 2016 forest fires
Lisbon (AFP) Sept 12, 2017
A Portuguese former firefighter has been sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison for having started forest fires in central Portugal last year, a regional court announced Tuesday. He was found guilty of arson for igniting nine fires between July and September 2016 in the Castelo Branco region with its forests of eucalyptus trees, which are particularly flammable. The biggest blaze in ... read more

Related Links
Forest and Wild Fires - News, Science and Technology

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