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17 killed in China mall fire after child fiddles with lighter

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Beijing: At least 17 people were killed and four others injured in a major fire triggered by a nine-year-old boy who was playing with a lighter at a multi-storey wholesale market in China.

The fire broke out yesterday afternoon in a warehouse on the fourth floor of the merchandise wholesale market at Huidong county in the southern province of Guangdong, police said today.

The fire started after the boy fiddling with a lighter set afire an inventory in the warehouse, they said. The blaze quickly spread to the entire floor, killing 17 people and injuring four fire fighters, police said.


The fire was so severe that 270 firefighters and 45 fire engines were mobilised to extinguish the blaze. The child was been taken to police station for further questioning, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Nine other officials of the market have also been detained.