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Thursday, July 14, 2016, 16:07

CE vows tough action against fire safety violations

By Li Yinze

CE vows tough action against fire safety violations
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying speaks during his last Question and Answer session in the incumbent legislature on July 14, 2016. (Parker Zheng/China Daily)

HONG KONG - The Hong Kong SAR government will consider tightening fire safety regulations at industrial buildings in the next Legislative Council term, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said, as the government conducted a territory-wide inspection on mini-storage facilities after a deadly blaze at a mini-storage facility claimed two firemen's lives earlier.

During his last Question and Answer session in the incumbent legislature Thursday morning, he pledged to make recommendations to the LegCo to "criminalize" business operations for running subdivided flats in industrial buildings.

Mini-storage facilities and subdivided flats were found at two industrial buildings at Ngau Tau Kok and Cheung Sha Wan that were hit by two recent blazes.

He said authorities including the Fire Services Department, the Buildings Department, the Lands Department and the Labor Department have inspected more than 500 mini-storage centers and similar premises since the end of last month to see if they comply with the current law.

He said that the government will seek to make it a criminal offense to run subdivided residential units in industrial buildings.

"Hundreds of industrial buildings in Hong Kong were installed with no automatic sprinkler systems, making it extremely dangerous when a fire breaks out," Leung stressed.

Meanwhile, with only 23 hours of sessions left in the incumbent LegCo, Leung noted three amendment bills by the SAR government are still pending approval. He urged lawmakers to pass the remaining bills as soon as possible in accordance with the city's overall interests and development needs.

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