China executes three over deadly hotel arson

BEIJING (AFP): China on Thursday executed three arsonists held responsible for a deadly hotel fire last year that killed 11 people and injured more than 30 others, state media reported.

The victims at the budget hotel in the northeastern Jilin province — part of a chain called Home Inns — died of smoke inhalation after the fire started in a stairwell and sent thick plumes of smoke to the upper floors.

On Thursday, the Intermediate People’s Court in Tonghua city – where the incident took place — announced three people blamed for starting the fire had been sentenced to death and executed, Xinhua news agency said.

The report did not elaborate on why the three started the fire last year on May 1. The court was unavailable for comment when contacted by AFP and an official at Jilin’s superior court said he was not aware of the case.

According to Amnesty International, China executes more people than the rest of the world put together, although it has reduced the number of offences facing the death penalty, abolishing its use for 13 mainly white collar crimes.

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