1 Feb 2009

Fireworks fire kills 15 in China

4:22 pm on 1 February 2009

Fifteen people were killed and 17 injured when a fire caused by birthday fireworks swept through a bar and restaurant in eastern China.

Xinhua state media agency says the accident happened when a group of 10 young men and women set off fireworks at their table inside a Latin-style bar and restaurant.

Saturday was the last day of the week-long holiday marking the Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, which fell on January 26.

Fireworks set off during a dance show at an illegal night club in Longgang, a blue-collar area just across the border from Hong Kong in southern China, sparked a blaze that killed 44 people and injured at least 64 in September last year.

China has jailed a senior police officer for 11 years for taking bribes and dereliction of duty in connection with that blaze.