Officials axed after China orphanage fire

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iol pic wld chin orphanage fire REUTERS Yuan Lihai (C) talks to investigators at a site of a fire accident in Lankao county, Henan province.

Beijing - An official in central China says six county officials have been suspended after a fire at an illegally run orphanage killed six children and one young adult.

The deaths Friday in Henan province's Lankao county have spotlighted China's lack of government-run child services. They are often left to private citizens with few resources and no legal authority.

The Lankao government earlier acknowledged that it had tolerated the existence of the illegal orphanage, which cared for abandoned children and young adults.

A man from the main office of Lankao government who would only give his surname, Zhao, said Tuesday that six officials had been suspended but he gave no other details.

The deputy county governor had already said that some departments had failed in supervision and management and should shoulder responsibility. - Sapa-AP

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