Beijing (Agencies): At least 40 people have been killed in fireworks accidents during the Lunar New Year celebrations in China, which witnessed over 1.18 lakh cases of blaze.
As Chinese revellers celebrated the Lunar New Year from February 2 to February 8 with massive display of fireworks, the number of cases of fire jumped to 1.18 lakh from 7,480 during last year's Spring Festival holidays which had caused losses worth 28.5 million yuan (USD 4.4 million), the official media reported on Wednesday.
The incidents left 40 people dead, 37 injured and caused damage worth over 56 million yuan (USD 8.5 million), which is almost double of the figure last year.
However, these losses did not include a case in northeastern Liaoning Province where a five-star hotel in the city of Shenyang had been completely gutted due to a massive fire triggered by fireworks on February 3, Xinhua news agency said.
The hotel fire, which caused no casualties, is possibly the country's biggest fireworks accident during this year's celebrations.
According to an official statement, some 2.6 lakh police and fire fighters across the country were mobilised for 24,800 fire control missions.
They rescued more than 1,600 people and evacuated tens of thousands.
Fire departments have been monitoring high-rise buildings, shopping malls, markets, construction sites and other crowded or vulnerable locations, the statement said.
Also, a total of 173 companies were suspended from operating for failing to meet fire prevention and control standards.