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Prosecutors target LCY, Kaohsiung City government in blast probe
Central News Agency
2014-08-07 10:48 PM
Kaohsiung, Aug. 7 (CNA) The Kaohsiung Prosecutors Office said Thursday that its probe is now focusing on LCY Chemical Corp, the company that owned the propylene pipe believed to be behind the deadly blasts in the southern city last week, as well as the Kaohsiung City government. LCY is suspected of offenses against public safety for continuing to pump the flammable gas despite indications there was a problem. The city government, meanwhile, knew that the pipeline carrying propylene should have been packed into the ground to reduce the risk of explosion, prosecutors said. Instead, when a new culvert was built by the city, it ended up intersecting with the pipes at one point, exposing them to air and leading to corrosion, prosecutors alleged. The city government "failed to tackle the problem." "Is the city covering this up for the sake of profiteering or is it malfeasance?" the prosecutors office asked pointedly. After checking with Kaohsiung's Water Resources Bureau, they found a waterway construction map that included the culvert, which had not been detailed on many other city documents. It was ascertained that pipelines belonging to LCY and two other petrochemical companies were laid before the construction of the culvert, which began work in 1991 and was completed the following year. Prosecutors said they will look into the responsibility of officials in the city government. Huang Yuan-kuan, deputy chief prosecutor of the Kaohsiung Prosecutors Office, said the two-pronged probe into LCY and the municipal government will be "conducted simultaneously." (By Cheng Che-fon and Lilian Wu)
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