Sinopec executives ‘suspended’ over pipe blast

Sinopec28 November 2013, News Wires – The unidentified executives, who are said to have direct responsibility for the pipeline that exploded in the eastern port city of Qingdao on Friday, are co-operating with an ongoing police investigation, state news agency Xinhua said.

Nine people were detained earlier this week over the blast, which is said to have left more than 160 injured and nine missing. Sinopec was forced to curtail some production and crude purchases, while oil tanker shipments were disrupted at Qingdao port.

Initial reports said there was one explosion, but Xinhua later said the leak triggered two blasts – one near the leaking pipeline and the other close to where the drainage pipe empties into the sea.

Sinopec has apologised for the explosions, which constituted its deadliest accident and one of the worst publicly reported industrial disasters in China this year.

Separately, a Sinopec-operated pipeline in south-west China was damaged in an industrial accident overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday, Xinhua also reported. Three people are said to have been injured and an amount of gasoline spilt in the incident in Guizhou province.

– Upstream

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