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Prosecutors looking at Dalian oil spill case

(China Daily)

10:48, November 25, 2011

BEIJING - Prosecutors have taken over the cases of 14 people who are suspected of being responsible for a blast and oil spill at a subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Corp, according to the State Council, China's Cabinet.

The subsidiary is based in Dalian, a coastal city in Northeast China's Liaoning province.

Also at the company, 29 executives or employees have receive punishments for violating Party or administrative rules and thereby contributing to the accident. Jiang Jiemin, the company's president, has received a stern warning.

The punishments stem from events that occurred on July 16, 2010. That day, an oil pipeline caught fire and exploded at the Dalian Petrochina International Warehousing and Transportation Co Ltd, causing a large oil spill and polluting nearby seawater.

The accident killed a firefighter and left one worker missing. Estimates hold that it caused 223 million yuan ($35 million) in economic losses.

The 14 suspects, including Liu Changdong, a manager of the warehousing and transportation company, are all being held directly responsible for the accident.

They will stand trial and, under China's safety laws, face the possibility of serving jail terms.

Twenty-eight high-ranking executives at China National Petroleum Corp and its subsidiaries have also been punished.

Some of them, including Chen Shi, the general manager of the warehousing and transportation company, have been fired.

The past two years have seen three less serious accidents occur at the company's subsidiary sites in Dalian.

On Oct 24, 2010, a fire broke out at the Dalian Petrochina International Warehousing and Transportation Co Ltd.

This year, a fire accident hit the Dalian Petrochemical Corporation in July and an explosion and fire hit the petrochemical company a month later. No deaths were reported in those accidents.

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