China China publishes information on major industrial accidents

China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate on January 2, 2021 published information on cases of past major industrial accidents and accidents caused by professional negligence. One of the cases is presented here as an example.

C9 spill accident in Fujian province in November 2018

Outline

  • When C9 hydrocarbons* (C9) was loaded onto a Ningbo-based tanker called Tiantong 1 on a wharf administered by a petrochemical company in Quanzhou city, Fujian province On November 4, 2018, the tube connecting the tanker and wharf broke and 69.1 tons of C9 spilled. It contaminated nearby water and atmosphere, causing 69 residents to complain of health problems and receive medical treatment.
  • After the accident, people responsible for it made false reports, including reporting that the amount of the spill was 6.97 tons, and failed to take emergency measures required by the regulations as well, which led to greater damage.

* Hydrocarbons that have an average of nine carbon atoms. According to a report, dicyclopentadiene was the most abundant substance in the spilled C9 mixture.

Punishment

  • Six people were sentenced to one to four years in prison and other penalties on charges of major responsibility accident , false reports on a safety accident and so forth.
  • The convicts appealed against the verdict, but the Quanzhou Intermediate People’s Court dismissed their appeal, confirming the previous decision.

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate’s comment

For industrial accidents that cause environmental pollution as in the present case, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate instructs the departments of criminal prosecutors and public interest litigation prosecutors to cooperate to make sure that wrongdoers are accountable for their criminal responsibilities, civil liabilities and liabilities for ecological and environmental damage.

The full text of the notice of major industrial accident cases is available at:

https://www.spp.gov.cn/spp/xwfbh/wsfbh/202101/t20210127_507766.shtml