Chi­nese court jails 49 over huge ex­plo­sions

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

BEI­JING:

Chi­nese courts yes­ter­day jailed al­most 50 peo­ple over last year’s gi­ant ex­plo­sions in the port of Tian­jin that killed 165 peo­ple, state me­dia re­ported. The blasts at a chem­i­cal ware­house owned by Rui Hai In­ter­na­tional Lo­gis­tics sent a huge fire­ball soar­ing into the sky and man­gled struc­tures kilo­me­ters away. So­cial me­dia users recorded the scene of what rapidly be­came the coun­try’s high­est-pro­file in­dus­trial ac­ci­dent in years. A swathe of the north­ern port was dev­as­tated and fears of toxic pollution were rife, with cyanide lev­els in the disas­ter zone far above na­tional limits. Those con­victed yes­ter­day were 24 com­pany man­agers and staff mem­bers and 25 govern­ment of­fi­cials, the of­fi­cial news agency Xin­hua said. The charges ranged from il­le­gal stor­age of ma­te­ri­als to abuse of power. The head of Rui Hai, Yu Xuewei, re­ceived a two year sus­pended death sen­tence-nor­mally com­muted to life in prison-and was fined 700,000 yuan ($103,252) for his role in the disas­ter. In the af­ter­math of the ex­plo­sions Xin­hua de­scribed Yu as a for­mer ex­ec­u­tive at state-owned chem­i­cal com­pany Sinochem, and said an­other of Rui Hai’s own­ers was the son of the for­mer port po­lice chief.

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