Death toll rises to 58 in Shanghai fire | world | Hindustan Times
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Death toll rises to 58 in Shanghai fire

world Updated: Nov 19, 2010 15:54 IST

AFP
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The death toll in this week's high-rise apartment building fire in Shanghai has risen to 58, an increase of five, the city government said on Friday.

The dead included 36 women and 22 men, according to a brief statement on the government's website announcing the new toll.

A preliminary investigation has blamed Monday's spectacular blaze in a 28-storey block on careless work by unlicensed welders who ignited nylon netting swathing the building, which was being renovated.

China ordered a nationwide overhaul of fire-control measures after the disaster, the latest incident to highlight chronic poor fire safety in the country.

The inferno caused some panicked residents to attempt desperate jumps to safety or seek refuge on construction scaffolding surrounding the building.

The blaze was the country's worst since a shopping mall fire in the northeastern city of Jilin killed 53 people in February 2004, according to state media.

A government spokesman, who refused to be named, told AFP that authorities had received gradual reports of 56 missing since the fire, adding that figure was included in the current death toll.

"We are still trying to match the identity of some victims," he said. Police said they have detained eight people in connection with the fire.

They include the head of the state-owned construction company renovating the building, state media has said. A State Council, or Cabinet, preliminary investigation said two unlicensed welders ignited the nylon netting and "other combustibles".

The renovation was rife with "illegal sub-contracting" and flouting of safety measures, the cabinet report said.