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29 officials held accountable for fatal fireworks factory blast

By ZHANG YANGFEI | | Updated: 2020-01-21 16:32
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The explosion site at a fireworks factory in Liuyang, Hunan province, Dec 5, 2019. [Photo/]

Twenty-nine public officials have been held accountable for an explosion at a fireworks factory in Liuyang, Hunan province, that killed 13 people last month, the provincial Party committee's Commission for Discipline Inspection said on Tuesday. 

They had lied when reporting the accident and had been negligent in their oversight and leadership responsibilities, it said.

The commission said they had been punished by the provincial authorities, while 10 staff members from the enterprise were put under criminal investigation.

The blast at a Liuyang Bixi Fireworks Manufacturing workshop on Dec 4 killed 13 people, injured 13 others and caused economic losses of 19.45 million yuan ($2.82 million).

The provincial government set up an investigation team to look into the case and found that the accident was caused by illegal production.

"The company ignored the national safety production laws and regulations, overused the material quota and changed the use of the workshop for illegal production," the commission said, adding that some government departments had failed to put in place sufficient supervision to inspect and effectively stop the illegal acts.

It said some officials from the Party committee and town government of Chengtanjiang in Liuyang, including Liu Fayu, the town's Party secretary, colluded with the company to transfer and hide the victims' bodies and concealed the truth of the accident.

Five public officials, including Liu, who organized and led the false reporting and were suspected of serious violations of laws and regulations, were detained by the provincial Supervisory Commission.

Other officials, including the town's deputy Party secretary, Tang Jianhua, who were involved in the transfer and hiding of the victims' remains, were removed from their Party and government positions.

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