China stresses strict investigation into chemical leak scandal

Procuratorial organs in northern China’s Shanxi Province have been urged to “strictly” investigate the chemical leak scandal by a local company 11 days ago, according to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP).

In a circular Wednesday, the SPP ordered serious investigation into the Dec. 31 leak of about 9 tonnes of aniline into a river in Changzhi City by Tianji Coal Chemical Industry Group, Xinhua was told Thursday.

The SPP has sent a special work group to Shanxi to supervise and direct the investigation.

Government employees whose acts in the accident constitute a crime of dereliction of duty will be handled in accordance with laws, according to the circular.

The contamination caused by the leak affected drinking water supplies of the Yuecheng Reservoir in downstream Handan, Hebei Province. The leak also polluted a river in neighboring Henan Province.

Changzhi City authorities were also found to have delayed reporting the leak until six days later.

Xinhua