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63 punished for pipeline explosion that killed 62 people in China

Jan. 10, 2014 at 11:58 AM

QINGDAO, China, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Sixty-three people have been punished for a pipeline explosion that killed 62 people and injured 136 in the Chinese city of Qingdao, officials said Friday.

Among those penalized was Fu Chengyu, board chairman of Sinopec, China's second-largest oil producer and operator of the pipeline, and Qingdao Mayor Zhang Xinqi, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

Fu was given a "demerit administrative sanction" and Zhang received a "warning administrative sanction," the report said.

Some of the other punishments included removal from company and party posts and 15 of the people have been transferred to China's court system for criminal charges, the State Council said in a statement.

The pipeline explosion, which created an economic loss of about $123.9 million, occurred on Nov. 22. Investigators determined the cause of the explosion to be a combination of corrosion that wore down the pipeline, leading to a break, and a hydraulic hammer being used to work on a sewage cover plate that created sparks and caused the blast, authorities said.

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