Sinopec reveals causes of fatal November pipeline blast

Jan. 14, 2014 at 6:44 AM

BEIJING, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Chinese energy company Sinopec published a statement on a fatal November oil pipeline explosion, blaming worker error and corrosion for the accident.

More than 60 people were killed when the Donghuang II oil pipeline, operated by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known also as Sinopec, exploded in eastern Shandong province.

The pipeline went into service in 1986. Sinopec published a statement saying corrosion weakened the walls of the pipeline, causing crude oil to leak into the municipal drainage system.

"After the leakage, rescue workers used hydraulic hammer[s] to break the concrete trench cover slab, and sparks ignited the vapor in the trench and caused an explosion," Sinopec said in a statement Monday.

Sinopec said it did not take full responsibility for safety at the site while provincial officials didn't identify the risks properly.

The company said the incident caused a direct economic loss of $123 million.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for "large-scale safety check" following the incident.

The official Xinhua news agency reported Monday insurance funds would cover the damages.

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