49 Sentenced to Jail Over Tianjin Port Explosion
A Chinese court has jailed 25 government officials and 24 company managers over a series of explosions in the port city of Tianjin that killed more than 165 people last year, state-owned Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday.
The punishments range from a 1-1/2 year jail term to a suspended death sentence, which is generally commuted to life in prison.
The massive explosions in August 2015 at a chemical warehouse in Tianjin caused losses estimated at more than $1 billion and sparked anger that the structure had been built so close to residential areas.
A government report on the disaster blamed the ignition of hazardous materials that had been improperly or illegally stored at the site.
A Tianjin court handed the harshest sentence to the chairman of Tianjin Ruihai International Logistics Co Ltd, which operated the facility, for crimes ranging from the illegal storage of dangerous substances to bribery.
In February, the government said it detained 49 people in connection with the blast.