Compensation has been paid to almost all the victims and family members of 243 people killed in a gas blowout in the Chongqing area, an official in charge of rescue work said Thursday.
Meanwhile, 157 people poisoned in the accident are receiving treatment in hospital. Doctors said that 27 of the poison victims are still in critical condition, without much improvement.
The China National Petroleum Corporation, which operates the gas well, has offered more than 33 million yuan (3.99 million US dollars) in compensation, and relatives of the dead have been paid an average of 140,000 yuan -- a minimum of 70,000 yuan and a maximum of 210,000 yuan, said the official with the rescue headquarters.
The relatives of 218 dead victims, except for relatives who arenot in Kaixian, have received compensation.
The compensation work has proceeded smoothly, as the headquarters has provided legal and psychological services for local people since Jan. 1.
The Dec. 23 accident, among the worst industry-related disaster ever in the country, caused a well to blow out, spewing a poisonous mix of natural gas and hydrogen sulfide over mountainous Kaixian County as villagers were sleeping. The victims were asphyxiated or suffered rashes and burns.
More than 9,000 people have been treated for injuries, and morethan 60,000 people have been evacuated from the area, most of whom have returned home.
Two of the dead were gas field employees, while the others wereresidents of the area.