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Li Keqiang Orders Thorough Investigation into the Tianjin Blast, Rigorous Accountability and Stronger Workplace Safety
2015/09/23

On 22 September, Premier Li Keqiang presided over a meeting to hear briefing by the State Council investigation team on updates of the probe into the severe blast that struck Tianjin on 12 August. The meeting was attended by leading officials from the State Council and relevant departments.

According to the head of the State Council investigation team who reported on the initial findings of the investigation, the blast was an extraordinarily serious workplace accident that caused major losses of life and property.

After hearing the briefing, Li said that in the wake of the accident, the investigation team, together with relevant agencies, went to the blast site to gather evidence and quickly obtained a lot of first-hand information and evidence. This has led to initial findings of the developments of the accident as well as the losses incurred. Also revealed were problems regarding irregularities and illegal operations by the companies involved, and acts of corruption and dereliction of duty on the part of relevant departments. All these laid the ground for ultimate identification of the cause of the accident and attribution of responsibilities.

Li instructed that in conducting their next step of work, the investigation team need to act with a strong sense of responsibility to the country and people, be true to the facts, and follow relevant laws and regulations. Every detail must be clarified, and a solid chain of evidence must be established without any area of ambiguity, so that each and every conclusion will stand the test of time and history.

Li said that all those responsible in the accident, whoever they may be, shall be held accountable and punished in accordance with law and discipline. Due penalties, including dismissal from office, will be meted out accordingly. Negligence, dereliction of duty or corruption will not be tolerated. And those involved in law-breaking activities or crimes will be handed over to judicial organs.

Li asked the investigation team to further step up their efforts and submit the final investigation report as soon as possible. Both investigation findings and penalties shall be made public to give a responsible explanation to the martyrs, families of the victims and the general public. At the same time, a solid job must be done in the follow-up work to handle the aftermath.

Li demanded that all local governments and departments must draw lessons from the accident and never lower guard for workplace safety. In handling major issues concerning workplace or public safety, strict review procedures and regulations as required by law must be followed with real earnest and those responsible must be held accountable.

Li also called for greater efforts to improve relevant laws, regulations and working mechanisms to enhance workplace safety. Future safety checks should focus on removing all potential risks, introducing correction measures and building institutions to ensure all loopholes are closed. It is particularly important to strengthen and improve safety supervision over all types of hazardous articles, and step up routine inspections and checks. The purpose, Li said, is to make sure that the red line of workplace safety will not be crossed and the lives and property of our people are properly safeguarded. This principle must be honored in every aspect of our economic and social development.

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