Shanghai fire victims' payouts detailed

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Relatives of each victim who lost his or her life in the fire that destroyed a 28-storey residential building in downtown Shanghai on Nov 15 will receive compensation of 960,000 yuan ($144,500), local government officials said on Tuesday.

Mourners visit the scene of the fire on Wednesday.[China Daily]

 Mourners visit the scene of the fire on Wednesday.[China Daily]

The compensation is made up of 650,000 yuan in compensation for each death and 310,000 yuan of government support and charity donations, Zhang Renliang, head of the Jing'an district government, said at a press conference.

Local residency holders and migrant workers will be treated equally in the granting of compensation, he said.

The government on Tuesday also set the final death toll at 58, which exactly matched the information on the number of missing people gathered from relatives or friends of the victims.

Fifty-seven of the 58, including 21 males and 36 females, have been identified by DNA tests, while the identity of one male victim, who is thought to be a Japanese citizen, is still being tested, said Chen Qiwei, spokesman of Shanghai municipal government.

In response to some public calls for the release of the names of the dead, Chen said officials had asked for the opinions of the victims' families, and more than one-third of them were not willing to release such information.

"The government respects their decisions and will not post the list," he said.

At the moment, 66 injured people, including 14 in critical condition, are still being treated by a team of 24 experts at seven hospitals in Shanghai.

"The physical conditions of all patients are tending to be stable," said Xu Jianguang, director of Shanghai health bureau.

Residents injured in the fire will also receive compensation, which will be determined according to the level of injury.

The government said those residents whose homes were completely destroyed will receive compensation based on their apartments' current market value.

The government will authorize third-party agencies to assess the value of properties in the building.

Xie Hehe, whose wife and son-in-law were injured in the fire, said the family would not accept the compensation if it is based on the current market price of the building, which was built 10 years ago.

"We hope the compensation could be based on the current average property price in this area. We hope we can buy a new apartment of similar size here with the compensation," he said.

Government officials also said that two other residential buildings next to the burned one will be renovated.

"The rigid polyurethane foam pasted on the surface of the other two buildings, which some experts suspect turned the fire into a disaster, will be replaced by fire-resistant materials," Zhang Renliang said.

Residents from the other two buildings will be able to move back to their apartments after the renovation.

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