BEIJING: Chinese oil giant Sinopec has suspended two executives following a pipeline explosion in the coastal city of Qingdao, which left more than 50 people dead, state media said on Wednesday.
The blast last week occurred after a pipeline, run by state-owned Sinopec, sprang a leak early on Friday last week, and exploded several hours later as workers sought to repair it.
Sinopec said that two executives of its subsidiary group Sinopec Pipeline Storage and Transportation Co. were directly responsible for the explosion as company leaders, Xinhua news agency reported.
The two men have been asked to help with investigations into the incident, said Xinhua.
China has a very poor record on industrial safety as lax law enforcement and corruption enables business owners to cut corners or offer bribes to evade standards. Around 28,000 people were killed or went missing in workplace accidents in the first half of this year, state media have reported.
The last on Friday last week ripped up roads and sent thick black smoke billowing into the sky, resulting in 18,000 people being evacuated from nearby urban areas.
Rescue teams were still searching for 11 people who were believed to be missing in the deadly accident.