Six More Detained For Jiangsu Blast That Killed 78

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2019-04-14 HKT 13:06

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  • An aerial view of the debris following the chemical plant explosion in Yancheng city on March 24. File photo: AFP

    An aerial view of the debris following the chemical plant explosion in Yancheng city on March 24. File photo: AFP

Police have detained six more suspects linked to a chemical plant blast in Jiangsu province last month which killed 78 and left hundreds injured, local authorities said.

The explosion in Yancheng city was one of the worst industrial accidents in the country in recent years and led to the closure of the plant.

Six employees from the Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical company, whose plant was involved in the blast, have "major responsibilities" in relation to the incident, the Yancheng government said in a brief statement on its official Weibo account.

It said that "criminal coercive measures" have been taken against them – a vague term which indicates detention, arrest or being put under temporary house arrest until police complete investigations.

Three others had also earlier been detained in connection with the blast.

The statement added that measures will also be taken against Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical, as well as its controlling shareholder, the Jiangsu Nijiaxiang Group.

The March 21 explosion razed an industrial park and blew out the windows of surrounding homes.

The company, with 195 employees, was established in 2007 and mainly produces raw chemical materials including anisole, a highly flammable compound.

It has a history of violating environmental regulations, according to online records from Yancheng city's environment and ecology bureau.

In 2015 and 2017, the firm was fined for breaking rules on solid and water waste management. (AFP)