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Fire breaks out in NE China shopping mall
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A fire broke out in a shopping mall in downtown Qiqihar, northeastern Heilongjiang Province right after Wednesday noon, according to local government.

No casualties have been reported so far, local government said.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from the New-Mart Plaza and the fire were put under control, the city's fire control department said.

"The situation is under control. We have seen no blaze in the building, but black smokes keeps running out," an official with the department, who declined to give his name, told Xinhua.

"The fire fighters have entered the building to make sure the fire was put out," said the official, adding the cause of the fire is now unknown.

The fire broke out at around 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday in the 32-story building, where the New-Mart Plaza occupies the first to the six floor. The rest of the building were apartments.

Witness said it was the advertisement board out of the shopping mall first caught fire.

The New-Mart Plaza just opened one month ago. A manager with the shopping mall said they were investigating the losses.

(Xinhua News Agency November 19, 2008)

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