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China officials' negligence blamed for deadly fire

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July 4, 2013 11:54 PM EST | AP


BEIJING — China's top prosecuting office has charged 11 public officials with dereliction of duty after a deadly fire killed 121 people in a poultry plant in the northeast.

The prosecuting agency's official publication, Jiancha Daily, said Friday that a township head, local building officials, a township police chief, and several fire officials are among the 11 government workers arrested after last month's deadly fire.

The fire was triggered by a short circuit, but investigators found that the plant violated safety regulations, including having safety exits blocked at the time of the fire. China's work safety agency has blamed the local government for negligence in oversight and inspection.

Jiancha Daily says fire officials failed to inspect the plant and that local police took no action despite safety violations at the plant.