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China Orphanage Fire: 6 Local Officials Suspended In Wake Of Tragedy

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Local residents gather to watch as rescuers and inspectors check a private orphanage after a fire swept through the home in Lankao, in central China's Henan province on January 4, 2013. ( STR/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty Images

BEIJING -- A fire that killed six children and one young adult at an illegally run orphanage in central China has prompted the suspensions of six local officials, a county government official said Tuesday.

The deaths Friday in Henan province's Lankao county have spotlighted China's lack of government-run child services. They are often left to private citizens with few resources and no legal authority. The Lankao government earlier acknowledged that it had turned a blind eye to the illegal orphanage, which cared for abandoned children and young adults.

A man from the Lankao government's main office who would give only his surname, Zhao, said Tuesday that six officials were suspended, but gave no other details.

The deputy county governor said earlier that some departments had failed in supervision and should shoulder responsibility.

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