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Restaurant fire kills 11 in China

/ Source: The Associated Press

A fire that raged through a popular restaurant in northeast China killed 11 staff and diners and injured 16 others, state media said Sunday.

Nearly 100 rescue workers and 14 fire trucks battled the blaze at the three-story Baixinglou restaurant in Liaoning province’s Chaoyang city for about an hour Saturday night before it could be extinguished, the local government’s Northeast News Web site reported.

The official Xinhua News Agency said an initial investigation found that the improper use of gas stove was to blame for the fire.

Two cooks and the restaurant manager have been detained, Xinhua said late Sunday, citing Zhang Minghua, deputy director of the Chaoyang Municipal Public Security Bureau.

One of the cooks started the fire by improperly operating an oven, the official said. No other details were given on how it happened or how the other two were involved.

Three other people also were questioned, Xinhua said, without elaborating.

The injured were being treated at two local hospitals and were in stable condition, it said.