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Accidents Claim over 90,000 Lives

A total of 91,887 persons were killed in some 707,000 accidents in China during the first 11 months this year, a spokesman of the Ministry of Public Security said in Beijing Thursday.

In the 11 months, 89,749 people died in 411,000 traffic accidents, a drop of 7.6 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively, from a year earlier, said Li Jiexiong, head of the ministry's office for prevention of major accidents.

According to him, 222,000 fires were reported in the first 11 months, which left 2,048 persons dead and 2,080 others injured, with total direct economic losses estimated at 1.23 billion yuan (US$153 million), excluding fires in forests, grasslands and mines.

Compared with the same period last year, the figures represented a fall of 5.4 percent, 11.3 percent, 26 percent and 10.2 percent respectively.

From January to October, there were 74 explosions related to the production of fireworks, which resulted in 90 deaths, 101 injuries and economic losses of 720,000 yuan (US$90,000), down by 45.1 percent, 52.1 percent and 60.3 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.

As of Wednesday, the ministry had sent 31 supervision teams to 58 cities and 126 counties across the country for investigations against accidents, said Li.

(Xinhua News Agency December 16, 2005)

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