Schools to open on time in Chinese city shaken by blasts

AP News
Posted: Aug 30, 2015 5:52 AM

BEIJING (AP) — More than 300 grade schools in the Chinese neighborhood shaken by this month's deadly blasts will start the fall semester on time, the district government of Binhai in the port city of Tianjin said Sunday.

All the schools in the district had completed registration work for classes to start Monday, and students affected by the disaster will return to the classroom, the district said.

The Aug. 12 explosions at a warehouse storing dangerous chemicals killed 150 people and left 23 others missing. It was one of China worst industrial accidents in years.

The tragedy exposed the country's lax enforcement of work safety regulations and revealed widespread dereliction of duties across government agencies. The warehouse in this case was located too close to homes and stored too much hazardous material.

At least 11 government officials — from agencies overseeing transportation, port operations, workplace safety, planning and land resources, and customs — have been detained and are faced with charges of dereliction of duty and abuse of power. China's top prosecuting office said the officials should not have issued the warehouse the permit to handle hazardous material and that they failed to regulate the operations at the warehouse.

Police also have detained 12 executives and employees of the company running the warehouse as part of their investigation, and are also looking into a company suspected of providing bogus safety assessments.

The local government said schools damaged by the explosions have been repaired in time for the fall semester.