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More than 650 die in fire accidents in past six months
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More than 650 Chinese died in about7,4000 fires in the past six months, according to the Ministry of Public Security Friday.

Nearly 300 people were injured in the fires and the direct economic loss was put at 660 million yuan (about 96.6 million US dollars). The blaze at the new China Central Television headquarters was not included in the figure as the final report has yet to be published, the ministry said.

Improper installation of electrical devices and carelessness in using fire facilities led to most of the fires, accounting for 26.8 and 21.8 percent of the total, it said.

Smoking, inappropriate operation of production and manufacturing facilities, and natural fires were the other causes that led to economic losses, according to the ministry.

(Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2009)

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