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China provides aid for Bangkok fire victims
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Chinese government will provide 500,000 U.S. dollars to the Thai government for the medical treatment of injured victims of the nightclub fire in New Year celebrations, the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok told Xinhua on Friday.

The Chinese Embassy said the money will be used for procurement of medicine.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has sent a message to his Thai counterpart Kasit Piromya expressing condolences for the victims and their families who suffered the fire incident, which occurred in early minutes into the New Year's Day at the popular Santika Nightclub in downtown Bangkok amid countdown celebrations, killing at least 59 people, many of them foreigners, and some 243 others were injured.

Upon Thailand's request, the Chinese government will offer 500,000 U.S. dollars as a humanitarian aid for the Thai government to procure medicines for burn injuries.

The Thai government has expressed appreciation for the Chinese' condolences message and the prompt aid, saying that it is a reflection of long Thai-Chinese friendship.

On Thursday, Thai Deputy Public Health Minister Manit Nop-amornbodi said that Chinese medical skin-grafting experts are willing to offer treatment to patients of the New Year's Day blaze.

In 1990, Chinese medical skin specialists gave assistance to victims in the Thai capital when an LPG-tank truck ruptured and exploded on New Phetchaburi Road in central Bangkok.

(Xinhua News Agency January 2, 2009)

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