Beijing: Chinese authorities have arrested 12 people in the aftermath of a series of deadly blasts that rocked the city of Tianjin two weeks ago, state media said Thursday as prosecutors probe 11 officials for neglecting their duties.
The official Xinhua news agency said the dozen formally held include the chairman and senior managers of the firm whose chemical storage facility exploded in the northern city of Tianjin two weeks ago, in the country`s highest-profile industrial accident in years.
Separately, the Supreme People`s Procuratorate said on its website that prosecutors in the city were also probing 11 officials for “abuse of power” and “dereliction of duty” over the blasts, which also injured hundreds of people.
The 12 arrested include owners of Rui Hai International Logistics who were shown on state television last week, when they were already being held by police, “confessing” to using government connections to obtain safety permits.
More than 500 people remain in hospital after the huge explosions, which left a trail of mangled buildings and burnt out cars in their wake.
The incident sparked widespread outrage over alleged safety violations by the firm and possible official collusion, and fears of pollutants contaminating the air and water of Tianjin, home to about 15 million people.