February 11, 2009 / 3:20 AM / 10 years ago

China prosecutors probe television complex blaze

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese prosecutors are probing a blaze that partly destroyed Beijing’s hypermodern state television headquarters and hotel complex, with suspects placed “under control,” an official newspaper reported.

The Procuratorial Daily, the newspaper of the state prosecution and anti-graft agency, said on Wednesday that officials who investigate dereliction of duty were probing the blaze that was sparked by an unlicensed fireworks display by Central China Television (CCTV).

Citing unnamed sources it said “suspects and evidence have been placed under police control.” It did not specify who was under investigation or for what offences.

The fire began on Monday evening, sparked by a fireworks display organized by CCTV, destroying a 30-storey building just north of the spectacular, gravity-defying CCTV tower designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.

The 30-storey building was home to the near-completed Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which had been due to open this year.

CCTV has apologized for staging unlicensed fireworks for employees and guests.

The fire swept quickly through the side building in part because of lack of water, the report said.

“The hoses of the firetrucks could not reach the rooftop, and there were no water supplies inside the building.”

Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Nick Macfie

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