The Court on Wednesday ruled that Yu Xuewei, chairman of Ruihai International Logistics, paid bribes to obtain permission to illegally store more than 49,000 tonnes of sodium cyanide and other highly toxic chemicals at the company’s warehouse in the city’s port area between 2013 and 2015.
The court found the management guilty of carelessness and said the company ignored safety rules and violated municipal planning, as the massive heart wrenching explosions left scenes of devastation in the northern port city of Tianjin- a disaster the people of Tianjin haven't still gotten over, more than a year after it happened.
The people who died from the explosions included 99 firefighters and 11 police officers, who were not informed of the presence of the 800 tonnes of ammonium nitrate. Another 798 people were injured, largely because Ruihai international logistics illegally built its warehouse too close to their apartments.
The owner of the company, Yu Xuewei, has been sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve while officials and employees were handed jail terms of between 3-7 years for dereliction of duty and abuse of power.
In a video shown on Chinese broadcaster CCTV, Yu told the judges that he regretted his actions and would not appeal.
“I want to use this opportunity to apologise to those who died and were hurt in the blasts and their families, as well as all the citizens of the nation,” Yu said.
The warehouse blast is referred to as China’s deadliest industrial accident the last fifty years.
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Source: South China Morning post