China detains 12 officials over Tianjin blast

China announces investigation into 12 officials for alleged neglect of duty in Tianjin blast which killed at least 139 people

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

China on Thursday has accused 12 officials and port executives of dereliction of duty or abuse of power over devastating blast in Tianjin warehouse this month that killed at least 139 people.

According to a separate statement by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), the police have detained 12 suspects involved in the massive blasts that devastated the port area.

The statement said local government departments, including transportation management authorities, production safety regulatory agencies, and land and resources authorities are accountable for the explosions.

The 12 people detainees include Yu Xuewei, chairman of Tianjin International Ruihai Logistics Co. Ltd., vice-chairman Dong Shexuan, and Zeng Fanqiang, an employee with a safety evaluation firm suspected of illegally helping Ruihai acquire safety evaluation papers, according to the MPS.

The MPS said the detainees are suspected of illegally storing dangerous materials.

Suspects Zhi Feng, general manager of Ruihai, and deputy manager Shang Qingsen are under residential surveillance, adds the report.

Customs personnel of the Tianjin Customs District were found to have been slack and irresponsible in supervising the illegal dangerous chemical business run by Ruihai, the statement said.

The personnel involved are also suspected of illegally issuing customs clearing permits to the company and allowing it to carry out illegal business activities.

In the Tianjin blast, there were 139 people confirmed dead while 34 remain missing.

After three decades of swift economic growth marred by incidents from mining disasters to factory fires, fierce over safety standards is increasing in China, which led President Xi Jinping to vow that authorities will learn the lessons paid for with blood.

TRTWorld and agencies