A senior official at China Central Television (CCTV) was one of 12 officials detained for possible criminal charges over the blaze at the broadcaster’s Beijing headquarters earlier this week, the South China Morning Post reported citing state media. Xu Wei, head of the broadcaster’s construction office and three other CCTV staff are being held. The eight other detainees worked for Liuyang Ace Fireworks, a Hunan fireworks manufacturer whose products supposedly set the building on fire. The fireworks team fled shortly after the blaze started but were caught later in Hebei province. An initial investigation found that although the factory was licensed to manage such pyrotechnic displays, CCTV’s management had failed to seek the required municipal approval for the show. Li Dongsheng, head of Beijing Hengsheng Law Firm, said that because the fireworks could be bought legally, the suspects could face charges of accidentally starting a fire rather than charges related to hazardous items. He said both offences carried a punishment of up to seven years in jail. Senior CCTV officials have tried to distance themselves from the fire saying that Xu and the construction officers were solely responsible for the fireworks show.
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