Date
24 March 2017
Medical workers mark the one-week anniversary of a deadly explosion that tore through a chemical warehouse complex in Tianjin. Photo: Reuters
Medical workers mark the one-week anniversary of a deadly explosion that tore through a chemical warehouse complex in Tianjin. Photo: Reuters

Top safety regulator under investigation after Tianjin blast

China is investigating its top work safety regulator a week after a massive explosion ripped through a port warehouse complex in Tianjin, killing 114 people.

The regulator has allowed companies to operate without a license for dangerous chemicals for years, according to Reuters.

Yang Dongliang, head of the State Administration of Work Safety, is being investigated for suspected violations of party discipline and the law, China’s anti-graft watchdog said in a statement on its website.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection did not say if Yang’s behavior is connected to the explosion in the port of Tianjin.

The company that operated the chemical warehouse did not have a license to work with such dangerous materials for more than a year.

Investigators have not determined the cause of the blasts but the disaster has deepened public concern about safety regulations.

China has struggled in recent years with incidents ranging from mining disasters to factory fires.

President Xi Jinping has vowed that authorities should learn the lessons paid for with blood.

The People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper, said last week warehouse owner Tianjin Dongjiang Port Ruihai International Logistics had operated without a license to work with dangerous chemicals because of an administrative loophole.

Wednesday’s explosion in the world’s 10th busiest port in China’s industrial northeast, forced the evacuation of thousands of people after toxic chemicals were detected in the air.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC/RA

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe