An electronics-shop worker whose discarded cigarette butt was blamed for a fire that killed 54 people at a shopping mall in Jilin province was sentenced to seven years in jail yesterday. Five employees of the Jilin city shopping mall were jailed for between three and six years for negligence, Xinhua reported. The February 15 fire at the four-storey Zhongbai Shopping Mall also injured 70 and caused about 4 million yuan in damage. Most of those injured suffered broken bones after leaping out of windows. Yu Hongxin , 35, apologised in court to the families of the 54 dead. 'I have inescapable responsibilities in this fire. I'll agree to it no matter how long the court sentence is, even if it is a death penalty,' Yu said. On the day of the fire, he discarded a cigarette butt in a storeroom without ensuring it was out. The mall's general manager, Liu Wenjian , received a six-year term, deputy manager Zhao Ping five years and director of security Ma Chunping four years. They were said to have failed to improve fire-safety standards. The mall's deputy security director Chen Zhong was jailed for 31/2 years and security officer Cao Mingjun for three. They left the fire-monitoring room without calling police or warning people about the fire.