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18000 evacuated following China pipeline blast
November 23, 2013, 8:19 am

Firefighters work at the site of the Sinopec pipeline explosion  [Xinhua]

Firefighters work at the site of the Sinopec pipeline explosion [Xinhua]

A total of 18,000 people have been evacuated from a district in east China’s port city of Qingdao, where an oil spill-triggered blast has killed at least 47 people, local authorities said Saturday.

Oil leaked from one of China’s state-owned oil company Sinopec’s pipeline, flowed into the municipal pipe network, and caused an explosion on Friday morning.

The explosion caused a blaze that took several hours to bring under control, halting operations at a major oil port.

Water, gas and electricity were cut off in parts of the district after Friday’s blast.

“China will mobilize the best doctors and medical resources to treat the injured and reduce disability and death,” said Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong, who is directing rescue work.

The local government is distributing food and water for residents since Friday night.

The State Council has decided to establish an investigation team to find the cause of the accident and hold relevant parties accountable, according to Wang.

So far, electricity has been restored in all but two communities in the district, the local government said.

President Xi Jinping on Friday called on local authorities to “spare no effort to rescue the injured and strengthen safety to eradicate such incidents”.


Source: Agencies