Hearing on Chongqing gas blowout ends
The hearing on a gas well blowout, which killed 243 people and injured over 4,000 in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, concluded at 10:00 p.m. Friday after three days of interrogation in court.
Chief Justice Tang Yan of the No. 1 Intermediate People's Courtof Chongqing announced that the hearing would be adjourned and the time for a new round of hearing was not decided yet.
The gas blowout, regarded as the worst industrial disaster in China in recent years, took place at 10:00 p.m. on Dec. 23, 2003 at a natural gas field in Kaixian County operated by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), when a well burst and released a high concentration of natural gas and sulfurated hydrogen.
CNPC general manager Ma Fucai resigned in April with an acknowledgment of breach of duty.
During the 40-hour hearing over the past three days, the public prosecutor read out the indictment and the court conducted judicial investigations of six people liable for the fatal accident. The public prosecution department brought out testimonies to the court and debates were held.
The six people are: Wu Hua, former deputy manager and chief engineer of the Chuandong (East Sichuan) Drilling Company; Wu Bin,former head of the company's No. 12 oil drilling team; Xiao Xiansu,a former worker at the No. 16 natural gas well; Wang Jiandong, former engineer from the drilling research institute of the Sichuan Oil Administration; Song Tao, former technician of the No.12 crew of the Chuandong Drilling Company, and Xiang Yiming, former deputy drill operator of the No. 12 crew of the Chuandong Drilling Company.
Wang Jiandong, Song Tao and Xi Yiming were arrested on Jan. 10 and Wu Hua, Wu Bin and Xiao Xiansu were arrested on Jan. 15.