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October 10, 2013

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Six jailed over chemical leak that left 46 in hospital

SIX men found guilty of causing a toxic chemical leak which led to 46 people being admitted to hospital were jailed yesterday.

More than 52 tons of petrochemical C9 leaked into Jueshigang Creek, in Jinshan District, due to a faulty valve on January 10.

This severely polluted the creek and the Huangpu River, tainting some tap water supplies.

Yesterday at Jinshan District People’s Court, Wang Jinlong, legal representative of Nanjing Dragon and Phoenix Chemical Co was jailed for five years for causing an accident involving dangerous goods.

The court said Wang had asked to unload the toxic chemical at a dock that was not qualified for loading dangerous goods.

Other figures involved in the accident received shorter sentences for the same charge.

Prosecutors told the court that Xi Jianping, general manager of Shanghai Jinwei Chemical Co, signed a contract to sell 500 tons of C9 to Ningbo Gangtai Fuel Co on December 21 last year.

The chemical was resold to Nanjing Dragon and Phoenix Chemical Co and was to be loaded by Dragon and Phoenix at another dock qualified for handling it.

But Wang asked a ship owner — introduced to him by another defendant, Liu Agui — to load his cargo at a dock near Jinzhang Highway as this was more convenient.

The vessel which had a crew of three — Liu Langjian, Du Guoxing and Liu Kang — waited at the designated dock from late December for the cargo.

Liu Kang was jailed for two years while the other defendants received sentences ranging from three to five years.

The leak led to tap water supplies being cut in parts of Songjiang, Fengxian and Minhang districts.

The accident triggered economic losses of 4.89 million yuan (US$798,048) in Jinshan and Songjiang districts.



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