China Punishes State Oil Refiner Chief Over Blast

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

BEIJING (AP) - Chinese authorities are holding the chief of China's largest oil refiner responsible for a November pipeline explosion that killed 62 people.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Friday that the state council approved unspecified sanctions against Fu Chengyu, chief of state oil company Sinopec, which operated the pipeline. Fu is China's most prominent public figure in the industry.

Xinhua said the Cabinet also disciplined 47 other people, including the mayor of the eastern port city of Qingdao, where the blast occurred.

On Thursday, Chinese safety officials said the blast, which also injured 132 people, was caused by sparks that ignited fumes from leaked oil. They said human error was involved and that both municipal officials and Sinopec bore responsibility for failing to carry out inspections and for weak emergency response.


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