Seventeen local officials and engineers were convicted Monday on charges related to a June fire at a youth camp that took 23 lives.
The defendants were convicted on involuntary manslaughter and other charges. Prosecutors had sought terms of up to 7 1/2 years for each of them, but only nine were sentenced to prison time.
Nineteen children and four adults were killed June 30 when fire swept through the Sealand Youth Training Center in Hwasung County. Prosecutors said local government officials took bribes in return for giving a license to the camp, which lacked basic fire prevention and alarm systems.
About 450 children and teachers were asleep at the camp’s three-story dormitory when a mosquito coil started the blaze, investigators believe.