14 sentenced over deadly pipeline blast

Updated: 2015-11-30 15:56


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14 sentenced over deadly pipeline blast

The site of a pipeline explosion in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, Nov 22, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

QINGDAO - Fourteen people were sentenced to three to five years in prison on Monday over a fatal pipeline blast that claimed 63 lives in the eastern city of Qingdao on Nov 22, 2013.

The blast injured another 156 and caused a direct economic loss of 751.72 million yuan (about $123 million), according to the people's court of Huangdao district of Qingdao city.

The direct reason for the accident was maintenance staff drilling, which produced sparks and caused an explosion fuelled by oil leaked from a pipeline owned by a subsidiary of Sinopec, the country's largest oil refiner, according to a report unveiled last year by a special investigation group set up by the State Council.

The court sentenced eight people from the oil companies to three to five years in prison for breaking work safety rules. Another six people from the local government were sentenced three years to three and a half years for dereliction of duty.

Four people were given a two-year reprieve.

More than 60 people have been penalized for the blast, with at least 48 receiving punishments for violating Party and administrative disciplines.