Three victims poisoned in a gas field blowout in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality got their first 66,000 yuan (about 8,000 US dollars) in compensation Friday from a local insurance company.
The Chongqing branch of the Ping'an Life Insurance Company organized an emergency team to handle compensation for the victimsof the gas burst that killed at least 191 people.
The tragedy, described as "unprecedented," took place at 10:00 p.m. Tuesday, when a well blew out suddenly, and released a high concentration of natural gas and sulfurated hydrogen at the Chuandongbei gas field in Kaixian County, some 337 kilometers northeast of Chongqing.
Over 9,000 people have been poisoned to various extents in the accident over the past three days, according to the latest statistics.
"We have about 7,000 insurance holders in the accident-stricken area, with paid-in premiums totaling over 100 million yuan (about 12 million US dollars)," a spokesman for the China Life Insurance Co. Ltd, one of China's biggest insurance companies, told Xinhua.
"But we can't count the exact losses since we have not yet beenable to enter the area for investigation," he explained. "Visitinghospitals is the only way we can get to know the situation."
The Chuandongbei gas field, operated by the China National Petroleum Corporation, however, has not bought any property insurance, according to China Life.