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Ma pledges his support for demands from firefighters

TAIPEI -- President Ma Ying-jeou promised yesterday to give full support to the nation's firefighters, who have complained about a lack of equipment and a shortage of manpower.

Ma made the remarks at a ruling Kuomintang (KMT) meeting after some 100 firefighters petitioned the Ministry of the Interior Monday for government efforts to improve their working conditions.

Six firefighters died in the Kaohsiung explosions caused by propylene leaks July 31 and another was injured Aug. 15 in a gas explosion in Ankang, suburban Taipei.

The petitioners called on the government to give them better and more firefighting equipment and to increase personnel, among other demands, so that they can do their jobs better and more safely.

Ma, who doubles as KMT chairman, said he had noted their calls and that he will do everything he can to meet their demands.

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