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Taipei Nightclub Fire Kills 11, Injures 13

April 17, 1995

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) _ A fire swept through a karaoke nightclub before dawn Monday, killing 11 people and injuring 13 others, police said.

One man was burned to death at the club and 10 others died at a hospital of smoke inhalation, police said.

Three of the injured were listed in critical condition, authorities said.

Karaoke clubs offer rooms for hire in which customers sing along with taped music on TV sets. The ``Hymns of Happiness″ nightclub where the fire occurred occupies the upper three stories of a six-story building.

Police said they were investigating the cause of the fire, including possible arson. State radio quoted bar waitresses as saying a man had threatened to set fire to the club. The report did not elaborate.

Last month, police demolished advertising boards and other structures that had blocked fire exits, and warned the owner to improve safety facilities.

The action was part of a crackdown on safety code violations that followed a Feb. 15 fire at a karaoke club in Taichung in central Taiwan which killed 64 people.

Relatives of victims of the Taichung fire have accused the government of being lax in checking safety. Last month, Taichung Mayor Lin Po-jung and three officials of the municipal government were impeached for negligence of duty in connection with the fire, Taiwan’s deadliest.

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