A fireman turned quality-control worker who imprisoned six young women in his basement for almost two years, treating them as sex slaves and killing two of them, had been detained in Henan, mainland media reported yesterday. The women's plight only came to light when one of them escaped while being taken to work as a prostitute by the man after he ran into financial difficulties. Li Hao, 34, bought a cheap, shabby and deserted 215 sq ft house that had a cellar in suburban Luoyang four years ago, the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis News reported. He spent nearly a year secretly digging and widening the cellar in the evenings and managed to create two rooms roughly four metres underground, the report said. Li then went to local nightclubs and karaoke lounges, and lured six hostesses into going to the house with him for paid sex before locking them up and forcing them to have sex with him in the cellar. As a warning to the others, Li killed one woman, who was the most vocal in complaints, and buried her in a corner of the room. Police investigating the case were surprised to discover that two of the women had constantly quarrelled for Li's favour, the report said. To end the dispute, Li killed one of these women about a year ago and buried her. The women were given computers, but without internet access, so they could entertain themselves with games, movies or TV dramas. The newspaper report was confirmed by an official at the Public Security Bureau in Luoyang yesterday. The remaining four women were rescued and had 'no problems with their health at all', the official said. He added that the suspect, who worked at the Administration of Quality and Technology Supervision, was detained for further investigation. Previously, Li was a firefighter - and as such was a member of the mainland's People's Armed Police. The report quoted a police investigator, Zheng Shengli, as saying that early this month, Li took the woman who seemed the most obedient out and to have sex for money. The 23-year-old girl escaped and made a call to the police. Li was arrested while attempting to flee, within two days after authorities received the complaint.