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Fire Devastates Beijing Internet Cafe

Aired June 15, 2002 - 22:02   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN ANCHOR: Now more on a developing story that's going on out of Beijing. A fire races through a cyber cafe there. And joining us on the telephone from China's capital, where it's now just about 10:00 on Sunday morning is our Beijing bureau chief Jaime Florcruz.

Can you hear me?

JAIME FLORCRUZ, CNN BUREAU CHIEF: Yes, Catherine.

CALLAWAY: Jaime, can you tell me what happened first?

FLORCRUZ: Well, 24 people died and 13 others were injured in a fire that gutted an Internet cafe in suburban Beijing early Sunday morning our time. The state run Xinhua news agency reports that the fire broke out at around 2:40 a.m. in the Lanjisu Cyber Cafe in Haidian district. Now this district is also called -- is also known as the university belt because it has many colleges and science and technology research institutes, and a lot of cyber cafes or Internet cafes have opened up there to cater to the students -- Catherine.

CALLAWAY: Were authorities able to get to the scene quickly? I mean, it's such a high number that we're hearing of possible fatalities in this?

FLORCRUZ: Well, the reports said that the city and policy officials rushed to the scene and the fire was put out in one hour. It's still not known what caused the fire. And investigation is still underway.

CALLAWAY: OK, Jaime Florcruz joining us from Beijing. Thank you.

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