One dead in arson attack on Wenzhou elderly centre 'over card game'

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 July, 2013, 11:12am

One person was killed and 13 injured in an arson attack at a Wenzhou recreation centre for old people, less than 24 hours after a similar incident at a Heilongjiang nursing home.

The fire ripped through the two-storey centre in Wenzhou's Lucheng district at 8.40pm on Friday as many old people were playing cards and mahjong, the Wenzhou Economic Daily reported. All of the victims were locals.

Wenzhou police have detained a 55-year-old man for questioning. Witnesses said he had argued over a card game three days earlier and he was seen rushing into the building with a bottle containing a liquid that smelled like petrol.

Meanwhile, four officials have been sacked as a result of the Heilongjiang nursing home fire that left 11 dead early on Friday.

Wang Wenhe , director and party chief of the Hailun Civil Affairs Bureau, his deputy, Zhang Shoulin , Li Kezhi , the director of the Hailun United Nursing Home, and his deputy, Li Yan , were sacked. They are being investigated by police and party disciplinary authorities.

It is believed nursing home resident Wang Gui , 45, lit the fire because he was angry some money had gone missing. He and 10 elderly patients died in the blaze.

The two fires were the latest in a series of headline-grabbing acts of violence in recent days, including knife attacks in Beijing and Guangxi and a bombing at Beijing Capital International Airport last weekend.

On Tuesday in Beijing, a two-year-old girl was hauled from her stroller and thrown to the ground by a man arguing with her mother over a parking row. The girl died on Thursday.

On Thursday night, a deputy editor-in-chief of a Beijing magazine was beaten by several urban management officers, known as chengguan, after helping his nine-year-old daughter experience a vendor's life by hawking stationery in Xicheng district, The Beijing News reported.

On Friday, a villager from Fujian's Gangkou village fell and died while trying to stop urban management officials pulling down his house.