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The World

An American businessman who has been detained in China for more than two months in connection with a hotel fire that killed 10 people has been formally arrested and charged with causing the blaze. Richard S. Ondrik, 34, of Houston, a representative of the Hong Kong firm, Energy Projects, Southeast Asia Ltd., was staying at the 15-story Swan Hotel in Harbin when a fire destroyed the 11th floor on April 19. Ondrik’s lawyer, Robert Goodwin, said his client was charged with causing the fire through negligence. It was not immediately clear why Chinese police waited two months to charged Ondrik, who faces a maximum term of seven years in prison if convicted.


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