The blaming begins. The oil-pipeline explosion in Qingdao earlier this week has claimed at least 55 lives and injured many more, and everyone involved is now in a frantic race to prove that they weren’t that involved. Plentiful helpings of blame are now falling squarely on the planners and supervisors of the pipeline itself.
Yesterday, it was the authorities’ fault: it was revealed that local authorities knew that there had been a leak in the pipeline some seven hours before the explosion, yet didn’t notify residents of any issue.
Today, it looks as though we will be delving deeper into the weird rabbit-hole of Chinese State-Owned-Enterprise management (mainly the lovingly-opaque Sinopec), infrastructure development, et al. The China Daily reports that the causes of the Qindao blast may be more systemic and far-reaching than simply a faulty notification system by authorities:
The deadly oil pipeline blasts in East China’s Shandong province on Friday exposed severe problems of human error and “very serious dereliction of duty” was behind the accident, a senior official in charge of the country’s work safety said Monday.
Yang Dongliang, director of the State Administration of Work Safety and head of an investigation team for the accident, said the accident exposed three severe problems: the unreasonable layout of oil pipelines and urban drainage pipes, negligence of duty in pipeline supervision, and unprofessional handling of oil leakage prior to the blasts.
The Daily doesn’t illuminate us on exactly who seriously derelict-ed their duties, but if the problems include unreasonably layouts, inadequate supervision, and an inadequate response day-of, then the Qindao blast may be known as “that event that led to the gutting of Sinopec.” (And/Or it will drop from the headlines in a few days and ‘Pec will go on as though nothing had ever happened.)