Courts send 49 to prison for mas­sive Tian­jin ware­house blasts that killed 165

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By XINHUA

Courts in Tian­jin sen­tenced 49 peo­ple to prison onWed­nes­day — in­clud­ing 24 com­pany man­agers and staff and 25 gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials — who were found guilty of crimes that led to the dev­as­tat­ing ware­house blasts that killed at least 165 peo­ple in Au­gust 2015.

The sus­pects were tried by the Sec­ond In­ter­me­di­ate Peo­ple’s Court of Tian­jin and nine other grass­roots courts be­tween Nov 7 and 9. All sus­pects agreed with the ver­dicts and ex­pressed re­morse as the rul­ings were read, sources with the Tian­jinHigh Peo­ple’s Court said.

On Aug 12, 2015, a se­ries of ex­plo­sions ripped through a ware­house of Rui­hai Lo­gis­tics Co in Tian­jin Port, leav­ing 165 dead, eight miss­ing and 798 in­jured. The blasts also dam­aged 304 build­ings, 12,428 cars, and 7,533 con­tain­ers, with to­tal eco­nomic losses of 6.87 bil­lion yuan ($1.01 bil­lion).

The­court­foundRui­haiL­o­gis­tics Chair­man Yu Xuewei guilty of brib­ing port ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials with cash and goods worth 157,500 yuan to ob­tain a cer­tifi­cate to han­dle haz­ardous chem­i­cals at the port.

Yu was con­victed of il­le­gal stor­age of haz­ardous ma­te­ri­als, il­le­gal busi­ness oper­a­tions, caus­ing in­ci­dents in­volv­ing haz­ardous ma­te­ri­als, and bribery. He was sen­tenced to death with a twoyear re­prieve.

The deputy chair­man and gen­eral man­ager of Rui­hai Lo­gis­tics and three other em­ploy­ees of the com­pany were sen­tenced to prison terms rang­ing from 15 years to life. Seven Rui­hai Lo­gis­tics staff mem­bers di­rectly re­spon­si­ble for the in­ci­dent were sen­tenced to be­tween­three and 10 years in prison.

Eleven peo­ple with a com­pany that pro­vided coun­ter­feit safety re­ports also were sent to prison.

Twenty-five of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Wu Dai, head of the Tian­jin Mu­nic­i­pal Trans­porta­tion Com­mis­sion, got prison terms of three to seven years for dere­lic­tion of duty, abuse of power and tak­ing bribes.

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