BEIJING, August 27. /TASS/. China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate has started checks of 10 officials and state companies’ employees in the case of major explosions that hit the northern port city of Tianjin on August 12, the official website of the procuratorate said on Thursday.
"Several responsible persons unscrupulously performed their duties on issuing licenses for working with hazardous chemicals and controlling this sphere; issued licenses for conducting economic activities with violations; did not attempt to take under control the illegal activity of the Ruihai company," the procuratorate noted.
Among those subjected to checks are chairman of the Tianjin Municipal Transportation Commission Wu Dai and head of Tianjin Port Holdings Qingyue Zheng.
Chinese police have earlier arrested 12 people suspected of involvement in August 12 major explosions at a container storage station in Tianjin that killed 139 people, Xinhua news agency reported.
The 12 people include chairman of Tianjin International Ruihai Logistics Co. Ltd. Yu Xuewei, vice-chairman Dong Shexuan, and its three deputy general managers, according to the police. The details of charges brought against them are not yet known.
A series of explosions hit a warehouse storing chemicals, owned by Ruihai Logistics, at around midnight on August 12. Eyewitnesses claimed that the blast shattered windows in buildings within a two-kilometer perimeter, while more than 1,000 cars burned down.
Shortly after the explosion, which was equal to 3 tons of TNT, a massive fire broke out. Several other blasts occurred later, with the strongest of them equal to about 21 tons of TNT.
The death toll in the series of explosions has already reached 139 people and 34 others have gone missing, according to the latest reports. Almost 700 other people remain in hospitals.