采访/朱智善 编辑/黄亿美 后制/郭敬
4 Fire Accidents Start Off China’s Production Safety Month
On May 31, Yang Yuanyuan, Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
deputy director of the State Administration of Work Safety
gave a speech the importance of safety in production, during
a ‘National Safety Production Month’ campaign video conference.
Yet on the same day, China had four fire accidents and explosions.
People are concerned about the causes of
these continuous safety accidents.
Do the related personnel fulfill their responsibilities?
Have they learned any lessons?
Are there hidden issues of misconduct and corruption
behind these incidents? Let’s have a look with our reporter.
On May 31 the China Grain Reserves Corporation’s
immediate granary in Lindian County of Heilongjiang Province had a serious fire accident.
On June 2, a diesel tank at PetroChina’s Dalian Petrochemical
Company exploded, leaving two people missing and two dead.
The same night saw a coal mine gas explosion in
Zhouguanqiao village of Shaodong County, Hunan Province, leaving ten dead and 15 injured.
In addition, Dehui City in Jilin Province also had a fire
accident on June 3, with 120 deaths currently confirmed.
CCP leaders Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang gave instructions to
“investigate the causes of accidents and prosecute those
responsible according to law”; and to “deeply learn a lesson,
and carry out measures effectively to prevent more accidents”.
Shenzhen independent writer, Zhu Jianguo:
“Now whenever such serious accidents occur,
they always give such important instruction,
in which they mention nothing about their responsibilities.
Looking at these companies that had fires, they all
go against the nation’s earlier lessons learned;
all have been stressed repeatedly to change,
but actually the lower levels did not change, why not,
because all levels tell lies to upper levels,
and all levels forbid democratic supervision.”
Chinese media report that while June is
China’s 12th annual Production Safety Month,
continuous accidents highlight the seriousness of
the situation of production safety.
Regarding causes of these continuous accidents,
the rhetoric from CCP authorities is very consistent:
All are considered as ‘accidents’.
The granary fire was because of a short in a circuit breaker;
the oil tank explosion was triggered by leftover diesel; and
the slaughterhouse explosion was due to an ammonia leak.
Former Chinese human rights lawyer, Tang Jitian: “With this
kind of thing, if we really want to draw convincing conclusions,
under current circumstances, it might be a difficult task to do.
The conclusion itself cannot be trusted, and
the accountability may even be impossible to chase’.
Beijing netizen Li Xuhui: “We are sitting on a
volcano every day, and don’t know when it’ll explode.
All in all, it is because of our system,
no officials take people’s lives seriously.
Once, a civil servant told me, ‘I serve the people,
but the people do not give me the power,
only my leader gives me the power, so I serve him.’“
This netizen once served as administrator of a security sector.
He says when accident occurred, it was to fool
the upper levels and hide it from the people;
in the end, the one who took the responsibilities
was usually the scapegoat at the lowest level.
Shenzhen independent writer, Zhu Jianguo:
“They (Xi and Li) don’t hit a root issue:
The need to implement administration transparency in the
country, and encourage the people to report and supervise.
They focus on tangental issues, the surface things.
Instead of seizing the key problems, they engage in formalities,
avoiding the real issues and dwelling on the trivial ones.”
The U.S. ‘New Yorker’ magazine website,
published a blog article on June 3, saying that
the slaughter house in Dehui City, Jilin Province,
was only built 4 years ago,
yet it still has such serious security risks,
and that this can only show that
China’s problems are not only poverty but legal confusion.
The article said that, nowadays in China,
people rarely see fire incidents as an accident,
people will ask about the corruption issues
behind the fire incident.
The survivors who fled from the fire said that
the complex internal structure of the factory,
a small exit, and a locked front door,
all made escaping more difficult than necessary.
It is understood that Chinese factories’ escape doors
are always locked, or blocked by objects,
and that most of the factories bribe the officials
to avoid inspections.