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Fire Kills 17 in Chinese Arcade

February 19, 2002

BEIJING (AP) _ A fire caused by an electrical short circuit raced through a video game arcade in northern China, killing at least 17 people, most of them teen-agers, a local official said Tuesday.

The fire broke out Monday afternoon in Tangshan, about 100 miles east of Beijing, said a spokeswoman for the city government. She gave only her surname, Li.

The video arcade was run illegally and doors and windows were blocked, Li said.

She said three people blamed for the fire were being questioned by police, who were looking for the owner, a retiree named Ling Fu.

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