Residents demand relocation away from site of oil pipeline explosion

Concerned locals rally outside government offices demanding to be moved in the wake of deadly oil blast that killed at least 55

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 November, 2013, 4:52pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 November, 2013, 4:52pm

More than one hundred residents gathered for a second day outside the local government headquarters in Huangdao district on Wednesday morning, demanding relocation after a deadly oil pipeline explosion killed at least 55 people in the area close to the eastern port city of Qingdao.

The residents, who live near the site of the explosion, assembled at 9am asking to be moved because of safety concerns.

Police at the scene were stationed in lines outside the municipal headquarters, pictures posted online showed.

“It is a question concerning whether it is [land] suitable for residing, whether we should relocate, or whether the [oil] plant should be moved out,” said one of the protesters, according to footage on Tencent.

Scuffles broke out between the protesters and police at around 9.30am, the video showed, without any injuries.

The deputy district chief of Huangdao district addressed the crowd of protesters at around 10am, urging them through a loudspeaker to calm down.

Last Friday’s explosion was one of the most deadly accidents to have taken place on the mainland. A leak in an underground oil pipeline triggered an explosion, which ripped roads apart and left cracks up to 1.5km long, Xinhua said.

The Beijing News cited one local resident as saying he was totally unaware the underground oil pipeline was located so close to his home.

At a meeting held on Tuesday night the mayor of Qingdao, Li Qun, called for a strengthening of society to maintain overall stability in the city, the Qingdao Daily reported.