6 charged over chemical leak

SIX people responsible for a chemical leak on a ship which polluted a creek and hospitalized 46 residents in January were charged with causing an accident involving dangerous goods, Jinshan District prosecutors said yesterday.

The six suspects are Xi Jianping, general manager of Shanghai Jinwei Chemical Co, Wang Jinlong, legal person of Nanjing Dragon and Phoenix Chemical Co, contractor Liu Agui and three workers.

The incident happened on January 10 when the three workers, Liu Langjian, Du Guoxing and Liu Kang, were unloading C9, a petrochemical containing benzene compounds, from the ship while it was docked at a port on Jinzhang Road.

Prosecutors said about 52 tons of C9 leaked into Jueshigang Creek because the trio didn't check the valves carefully.

The leak caused severe water pollution in the creek and the Huangpu River, tainting the tap water supply in Jinshan, Songjiang, Fengxian and Minhang districts.

Police received a report from nearby residents who smelled a gas in the air and felt uncomfortable.

Forty-six people in the surround area were hospitalized and they all recovered, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said the incident caused a financial loss of more than 4.8 million yuan (US$781,920).

The suspects face up to seven years in prison, according to Chinese Criminal Law.

Read the original article: Shanghai Daily: Metro