THE Shenzhen company blamed for the factory explosion and fire in August which left 15 people dead and 510 injured faces compensation claims of up to 250 million yuan (HK$335 million). Eighteen victims of the disaster are still in hospital. The Shenzhen city Government this week announced compensation schemes for people injured in the fire. In an article in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Daily, an unnamed ''responsible official in the government office'' said the Government had set up a hardship fund for households which had suffered economic loss from the fire. He gave until the end of the month to file claims, but did not say how much money would be on offer. The official said the explosions and subsequent fire on August 5 caused 250 million yuan in damage - nearly a third higher than previous reports. That figure would mean the Shenzhen disaster accounted for more than half the total losses from fire damage in China reported so far this year. In September, the Public Security Ministry said fires in the first eight months of the year had caused 430 million yuan worth of damage. The official said the city authorities had been ''correctly led by the Party Central, the State Council, the Guangdong Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial Government''. In the aftermath of the fire, scathing articles in official Chinese newspapers said the city Government was to blame for allowing explosive goods to be stored in a patently inadequate warehouse, for not installing any fire hydrants in the Qingshuihe areawhere the fire happened and for allowing residential accommodation to be built in an industrial zone. A State Council report into the disaster pinned the blame on the city Government, the Public Security Bureau and the Anmao Dangerous Goods and Storage Company where the first explosion happened. The report recommended officials from the disciplined services and courts in Beijing blame individuals and take decisive action against them. The Shenzhen official did not refer to this other than to say: ''Our city accepted an investigation into the cause of, responsibility for and other aspects of the accident from a state investigation team, and we have learned our lesson conscientiously.'' He said the explosion had killed 15 people. Reports from the official Xinhua News Agency on the day of the explosion said the death toll was 70. The Shenzhen official said 18 people were still in hospital. A further 141 people had been admitted to hospital, and of these 34 had been seriously injured. Most of the injured had been taking part in the rescue operation, the official said, confirming witness reports that a second explosion had engulfed fire fighters as they lined up. The official said health authorities had paid the medical fees of ''personnel'' who had helped put out the fire. But he did not make it clear if this included ordinary citizens who had to seek medical attention. He said Shenzhen city government agencies would be offering condolence money to the injured. The official said payments would be graded according to four categories of injury: seriously wounded with permanent disability; seriously wounded who would be scarred for life; seriously wounded who made a full recovery; and lightly wounded. Further compensation would be available to those who worked for central government institutions from their employers, he said. A hardship scheme to compensate those households affected by the fire had also been set up. The official said Anmao bore responsibility for the disaster. He said the company would have to pay compensation to everyone affected by the explosion and subsequent fire. , from individuals and work units to insurance companies. If in any case there was not sufficient compensation then legal proceedings could be brought, he said.