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Nothing is more important than citizen safety: Chen

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) stressed the Kaohsiung City Government's position again in removing pipelines around the gas explosions area yesterday, saying that the action is based in law and there is nothing more important than citizens' safety.

The Kaohsiung gas explosions of a few weeks ago caused huge damage to the city and many of the injured remain in the hospital. Therefore, the city government decided to force the CPC Corporation, China Petrochemical Development Corporation (CPDC) and LCY Chemical Corp. (LCY) to remove their pipelines around the area.

The removal of pipelines began early on Aug. 19. However, the operation was stopped once by CPDC, which stated that the government does not have the authority to remove pipelines.

In addition, CPDC also pointed out that it is wrong that the government forbid the company from putting the pipe back. This act will seriously affect their business and could possibly enhance the danger to the public if the company needs to use tankers for transportation.

After deliberating relevant regulations, the City Government still forced the removal later in the afternoon and fulfilled its promise to citizens.

However, CPDC still feels unsatisfied with the government's decision, stating that it is also one of the victims of the explosion and claims its right to use the pipelines. The CPDC also emphasized it has already examined all linked pipes and reflected on security management in order to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

Responding to CPDC, Chen pointed out that the gas explosion is a major issue and the city government's position is quite clear.

“We are doing something that needs to be done in order to guarantee citizens' safety,” she said.

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A team of technicians speeds up the construction of a temporary bridge between Kaisyuan road and Ersheng road in Kaohsiung, yesterday, hoping to repair the transportation system around the area as soon as possible.

(CNA)

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