Chem­i­cal plants to be re­lo­cated

China Daily (Canada) - - TIANJIN BLASTS - By TANG YUE in Tian­jing

The top of­fi­cial in Tian­jin pledged to re­lo­cate the chem­i­cal plants in Tian­jin Bin­hai New Area fol­low­ing last week’s fa­tal blasts.

Mean­while, all com­pa­nies that pro­duce and store dan­ger­ous chem­i­cals are un­der­go­ing strict in­spec­tion and will be closed if any faults are found, Huang Xing­guo, mayor of Tian­jin, said at a news con­fer­ence on Wed­nes­day.

The blasts on Aug 12 that rocked a ware­house stor­ing haz­ardous chem­i­cals in Tian­jin Bin­hai New Area have claimed 114 lives, in­clud­ing 13 peo­ple not yet iden­ti­fied, and left 64 miss­ing.

“As the prin­ci­pal leader of Tian­jin, I have in­escapable re­spon­si­bil­ity for the in­ci­dent,” said Huang, who met with the media for the first time one week af­ter the blasts oc­curred.

Huang said the chem­i­cal plants in Tian­jin Bin­hai New Area will be re­lo­cated to the Nan­gang In­dus­trial Zone, 25 kilo­me­ters from the cen­ter of the new area, ac­cord­ing to the city’s de­vel­op­ment plan.

Rui­hai In­ter­na­tional Lo­gis­tics Co, whose ware­house was lo­cated less than 1 km from sev­eral residential com­pounds, ac­quired the li­cense to store and trans­port dan­ger­ous chem­i­cals in June, ac­cord­ing to Zong Guoy­ing, top of­fi­cial of Tian­jin Bin­hai New Area.

How­ever, whether the lo­ca­tion of the ware­house broke city plan­ning and work safety laws will be an­swered by the fi­nal re­port by the State Coun­cil in­ves­ti­ga­tion group, said He Shushan, deputy mayor of Tian­jin in charge of work safety.

Rui­hai is one of the three com­pa­nies ap­proved to store dan­ger­ous chem­i­cals in Tian­jin Port.

Zong said Rui­hai was owned by Yu Xuewei, the for­mer ex­ec­u­tive at the State-run Tian­jin Bin­hai Lo­gis­tics Co, and Dong Shex­uan, the son of a for­mer Tian­jin Port po­lice chief. Both have been de­tained by po­lice.

As for the 17,000 house­holds af­fected by the blasts — some of whom have asked the gov­ern­ment to buy their apart­ments — Zong said the gov­ern­ment had set up a work cen­ter to solve the prob­lems.

“The de­gree of im­pact varies from apart­ment to apart­ment,” Zong said.

“If it needs to be torn down, we will tear it down. If we should build new apart­ments to lo­cate the res­i­dents, we will re­lo­cate them. We will com­pen­sate ac­cord­ing to law.”

Huang said there will be no ma­jor im­pact on com­modi­ties ex­ports de­spite the fact that 176 busi­nesses had been af­fected dur­ing the blasts.

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