By Nina Ying Sun, Plastics News staff
Shenzen, China - A main character behind the 27 Feb fire that killed 15 workers at LongFei Recycling Co. Ltd in Shenzhen has been detained by Chinese police. LongFei owner Chen Jinlong, 43, was arrested in his hometown of Shanwei, Guangdong province. Shenzhen police has also detained, among others, the company's business manager and accountant Chen Yongquan, according to a press release by the Shenzhen government.
Local public security and the fire department have told the press that the fire was caused by electrical wire short-circuits during Longfei's around-the-clock production. While the wires melted, sparks dropped to the piles of plastic waste in the operating room, reported local newspaper Yang Cheng Wan Bao.
While the three workers on shift, two night guards and a company driver who was playing Mahjong with two friends escaped, they did so without alerting the 15 coworkers who were sound asleep.
One of the workers said that after he left, he remembered about the 15 people in the loft and returned to the operating room and tried to control the fire with a fire extinguisher, but the raging fire scared him off.
The Shenzhen government said it, along with LongFei, has settled the compensation issues for the victims' families. The 15 dead included seven from Chongqing and eight from Lufeng, Guangdong province. The three wounded are all from Lufeng.