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October 1, 2010

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Landlord must pay gas victims

A LANDLORD has been ordered to pay more than 160,000 yuan (US$23,900) compensation to two tenants seriously burned in a gas blast.

The Huangpu District People's Court also ordered North Shanghai Gas Business Co Ltd to bear joint liability for the compensation.

This means if the landlord, surnamed Liu, can't pay the compensation, the gas company will have to.

The explosion took place on the early morning of December 26, 2008, in an apartment on Sanmen Road. An elderly couple died and eight people were injured.

The two plaintiffs, who lived in the rented apartment, were badly injured.

An investigation found the accident was the result of Liu's shoddy work.

Liu had installed a gas pipe inside a wall and bricks were laid directly on the pipe. The pressure loosened a joint and caused gas to leak, resulting in the explosion.

The gas company argued it had spotted the problem in January 2007 and issued a notice to Liu. But the court said it should have checked whether Liu had carried out a repair.


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