Kaohsiung prosecutors to examine part of pipe
By Lauly Li, The China Post
August 6, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
Kaohsiung prosecutors yesterday sawed off a section of a propene pipe that belongs to LCY Chemical Corp. (李長榮化學工業) and transferred it for further examination.
Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office (KDPO) chief prosecutor Huang Yuan-kuan (黃元冠) told a press conference that the prosecutors have retrieved the propene transport documents and records between LCY and China General Terminal & Distribution Corp. (CGTD, 華運倉儲).
The KDPO on Monday raided the offices of the two companies in Kaohsiung and brought in several employees from the two companies for questioning. Huang said the KDPO does not rule out the possibility of summoning LCY Chairman Bowei Lee (李謀偉) for questioning.
In order to better determine the cause of the incident, Kaohsiung prosecutors yesterday invited domestic metal and petrochemical experts to the culvert that runs underneath the intersection between Ersheng Rd. (二聖路) and Kaixuan Rd. (凱旋路) to collecting evidence, Huang said.
The investigators first cleared the propene residue inside the pipe, and then carefully sawed off a 3-meter section of the pipe, because the surface of the pipe was rust-eaten and believed to be the cause of the fatal blasts, Huang said.
As of yesterday evening, the death toll of the Kaohsiung explosions has risen to 30 people, according to the latest information provided by the Central Emergency Operation Center.
The KDPO yesterday afternoon issued death certificates for the two missing firefighters: Kaohsiung Fire Department Secretary-General Lin Chi-tse (林基澤) and firefighter Liu Yao-wen (劉耀文), according to the United Daily News.
The prosecutors said the rescuers could not find the bodies of the pair and suspect the two, who were standing around the intersection of Ersheng Rd. and Kaixuan Rd. when the explosions occurred, might have been "exploded into ashes." With the consent of the families, the KDPO published the two firefighters' death certificates, the prosecutors said.
The KDPO explained that after the 2009 Typhoon Morakot, the government had amended relevant laws to allow prosecutors to issue death certificates for missing people in natural disasters.