Tags: Taiwan | economy | explosions

Taiwan Economy Minister Offers Resignation After Deadly Blasts

Thursday, 07 Aug 2014 09:04 AM

Taiwan’s economy minister Chang Chia-Juch offered his resignation today, taking responsibility for gas explosions in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung city that killed at least 30 people.

Chang said he hoped his stepping down would stem the political blame-game in Taiwan, according to a statement posted on the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ website. Premier Jiang Yi-huah commended Chang’s response to the disaster in a statement late today and said he hopes Chang will reconsider the resignation.

The Kaohsiung government has blamed a chemicals maker for the explosions and said yesterday Chang’s ministry was responsible for regulating the pipelines that may have leaked gas. Four city officials offered to resign today for failing to share information on pipeline usage, a spokesman confirmed, after a report in the Taipei-based China Times accused the city of lying about its knowledge of underground pipelines.

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said in a statement today he supports the premier’s stance on Chang’s resignation. Chang, who was chairman of Taiwan’s China Airlines Ltd. before his appointment, was named economy minister in February 2013.

Chang, who also previous served as transportation minister, had been promoting a plan for the establishment of Free Economic Pilot Zones across Taiwan, which is currently under lawmaker review. He advocated for a services industry trade agreement with China, which has languished in the legislature after a student occupation of government buildings in March and April of this year.

Kaohsiung said earlier LCY Chemical Corp. failed to stop sending propylene through city pipelines after residents complained of noxious fumes emerging from the streets. The company has declined to say whether propylene was leaking from its pipes. LCY Chemical shares have fallen by the daily limit for five trading days, losing 30 percent since July 31.

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Taiwan’s economy minister Chang Chia-Juch offered his resignation today, taking responsibility for gas explosions in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung city that killed at least 30 people.
Taiwan, economy, explosions
289
2014-04-07
Thursday, 07 Aug 2014 09:04 AM
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