China ordered nationwide safety inspections today after the latest in a series of deadly fires killed at least 300 children and teachers watching a variety show.
The fire swept through a theater Thursday in Karamay, 1,600 miles northwest of Beijing. An initial investigation indicated that it may have been caused by a short circuit, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
It was the third major fire in two weeks, leading to expressions of concern that the rush to modernize that led to hurried construction may have resulted in dangerous buildings.
The Government order today called for the immediate closing of businesses that fail to meet safety standards. Public safety officials were instructed to examine fire prevention plans more carefully before approving new projects.