The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

China disciplines chief of state oil refiner Sinopec over November blast that killed 62 people

  • Print

BEIJING, China - Chinese authorities are holding China's largest oil refiner and its top management responsible for a November pipeline explosion that killed 62 people and injured scores of others in the eastern port city of Qingdao.

The State Council, China's Cabinet, decided Friday that an administrative demerit should be recorded against Fu Chengyu, chief of state oil company Sinopec, which operated the pipeline. Fu is one of the most prominent figures in China's oil industry.

The council also agreed to fire Sinopec's chief safety officer and file major administrative demerits against General Manager Wang Tianpu and Deputy General Manager Li Chunguang.

"We firmly abide by the conclusions by the State Council's investigative team on the accident, and we accept the disciplinary actions," Sinopec said in a statement. It apologized to the people of Qingdao and promised to check potential hazards in its pipeline network.

On Thursday, Chinese safety officials said the blast, which also injured 136 people, was caused by sparks from a jackhammer being used to repair a manhole cover following an oil leak. The sparks ignited fumes from the oil that had leaked from a corroded pipe into the city's sewage system, they said.

The safety officials said both municipal officials and Sinopec bore responsibility for failure to carry out routine safety checks, a weak emergency response, poor work procedures, and bad designs that put buildings and the city's underground utility lines too close to the pipeline.

Parts of China's 102,000-kilometre (63,383-mile) network of oil and gas pipelines are 40 years old, and corrosion paired with their intertwining with municipal pipelines puts them at high risk for accidents.

Since the Nov. 22 explosion, inspections have discovered nearly 20,000 potential hazards that are now being dealt with, said Wang Haoshui, an inspector with the administration in charge of safety at petrochemical plants.

On Friday, the Cabinet also endorsed disciplinary actions against 44 other people, including an administrative admonition against the mayor of Qingdao.

It said 15 of the disciplined people have been handed over to the judicial department, where they are likely to be criminally prosecuted.

The blast was China's second deadliest industrial accident in 2013, behind a chicken factory fire that killed 121 in June in Jilin.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Blake Wheeler talks about past season

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada goose makes takes flight on Wilkes Ave Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 Day goose a day challenge- Day 09- May 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • May 22, 2012 - 120522  - Westminster United Church photographed Tuesday May 22, 2012 .  John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google