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Weak Supervision Blamed for Fire Tragedy

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Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng stated Monday that poor supervision of the city's construction industry was one of the causes behind the high-rise apartment building fire causing 58 deaths a week ago in the city.

A city-wide inspection campaign was launched shortly after the fire to eliminate safety risks in construction projects. Once a safety risk has been found, construction must be suspended until the problem is solved, said Han during a municipal government's conference.

He also mentioned that the local government was considering making November 15 "Public Safety Day" in Shanghai to remind people of the disaster.

The blaze gutted the building on Nov.15 after sparks from welding work set nylon netting and scaffolding on fire.

Luo Lin, head of the State Administration of Work Safety, has blamed the tragedy on unlicensed welders, illegal multi-layered sub-contracting and poor management.

Shanghai police have detained 12 people in connection with the fire.

(Xinhua News Agency November 23, 2010)