On July 28, one day before the Olympic torch arrived at Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province, a fire broke out in a textile factory. It was reported as the largest fire in the city’s history and took six hours to put out. The estimated damage is reported as high as 10 million yuan.
the Hong Kong based Information Center for Human Rights & Democracy disclosed that there are over 200 workers who were either laid off or had retired from this factory. There have been past conflicts between them and the local government. As such, there is the possibilty that the incident was arson. The press office of the Shijiazhuang Municipal government blamed the fire on short circuits and said no one was injured.
Source: Ming Pao News, July 30, 2008