Links between Tianjin blasts, city administrators

2015-08-19 16:53
A firefighter walking past damaged vehicles after a series of explosions at a chemical warehouse hit the city of Tianjin. (STR, AFP)

A firefighter walking past damaged vehicles after a series of explosions at a chemical warehouse hit the city of Tianjin. (STR, AFP)

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Beijing - City administrators were closely linked to top shareholders of a company that owned a warehouse where explosions killed at least 114 people last week, China's state media said on Wednesday.  

The owners found ways to help the company continue to operate despite safety concerns, one of them admitted, according to Xinhua news agency.   

"The first safety appraisal company said our warehouses were too close to the apartment building. Then we found another company who got us the documents we needed," said Dong Shexuan, the son of a former city police chief.

He and a former state company executive were listed as the main owners of the Tianjin Dongjiang Port Ruihai International Logistics Company, Xinhua reported.

"[Dong's] father was police chief and he was well-connected in the port," said Yu Xuewei, former deputy manager of the state-run Sinochem Group Tianjin branch. 

Yu and Dong established a logistics company in 2012 and their connections with city officials may have helped Ruihai pass safety inspections, the report said. 

"My [connections] are in police and fire. When we needed a fire inspection, I went to meet with officials at the Tianjin port fire squad. I gave them the files and soon they gave me the appraisal," Dong told Xinhua.

The report came a day after anti-graft authorities said they was investigating the chief of the country's work safety regulatory agency, Yang Dongliang, for suspected "severe violation of discipline and law". 

Ruihai had started operating its hazardous chemicals warehouse before it obtained a license, Beijing News reported last week in an article that was quickly deleted online.

Yang Dongliang's son, Yuan Hui, is also being investigated, Beijing News reported on Wednesday. 

Read more on:    china

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