China company Sinopec 'sorry' for Qingdao oil pipeline blasts that kills 47
Saturday 23 November 2013
China's largest oil refiner Sinopec has apologised for explosions from a ruptured oil pipeline that killed 47 people and injured 136 others in one of the country's worst industrial accidents this year.
Sinopec's expansion of petrochemical projects has met with resistance from members of the public, and Friday's blasts in the eastern port city of Qingdao will likely add to growing concern about safety and environmental risks. The accident was the deadliest involving
The explosions ripped slabs of pavement and online photos showed bodies, overturned vehicles and shattered windows in nearby buildings. Black smoke rose above gigantic fuel silos and darkened much of the sky over a bay area.
The pipeline, owned by Sinopec, ruptured and leaked for about 15 minutes onto a street and into the sea before it was shut off. Hours later, as workers cleaned up the spill, the oil caught fire and exploded in two locations, the city government said.
Fu Chengyu, chairman of Sinopec, issued a public apology Saturday morning, according to a company statement. He said that Sinopec will collaborate with a State Council investigation group.
"We will investigate the incident with responsibility and give timely reports," another Sinopec statement said.
The Qingdao Environmental Protection Bureau said barriers had been set up to contain the oil as it spread into the sea, but that a mixture of gas and oil from a storm sewer exploded and caught fire over the sea.
More than 3,000 square metres of sea surface was contaminated, the city government said.
Authorities said the oil had seeped into underground utility pipes, which could have been a factor in the blasts, but they did not elaborate. They assured the public that the explosions did not affect any petrochemical plant or military facilities in the seaside district and that air quality remained good after the disaster.
About 18,000 residents have been evacuated in the wake of the blasts, and power was restored to all except two residential neighborhoods, authorities said.
Of the 136 people hospitalized, 10 remained in critical condition, the city government said.
The Beijing News cited a resident surnamed Gao, who works in logistics, as saying he was driving past Qingdao's Huangdao district when he felt the force of the blasts, and then realized the ground in front of him had fractured. The air was pungent, many cars on both sides of the road were overturned and there was dark smoke rising in the distance, he said.
"It felt like an earthquake, and I was dumbstruck," Gao said, adding that there was chaos on the street as people ran, panicking, in all directions.
Authorities ruled out terrorism but the incident remained under investigation, it said.
President Xi Jinping urged local officials to go all out in finding missing people, treating the injured and finding the cause of the accident, state TV broadcaster CCTV said.
It was China's second deadliest industrial accident this year, behind a chicken factory fire in June in Jilin that killed 121.
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Holborn fire: Chaos as 2,000 people evacuated to escape toxic smoke filling central London
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...