Another fire at refinery
A fire broke out yesterday at an oil refinery run by Formosa Plastics Group at its petrochemical complex in Mailiao (麥寮), Yunlin County, firefighters said. The refinery, run by the group’s subsidiary Formosa Petrochemical Corp, reported the fire at 4:20am and it was put out immediately, firefighters said. No casualties were reported. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but firefighters suggested the fire began during a test run of the plant’s equipment. The local government shut down the refinery after a fire in the facility in July 2010. It has been closed since then and tests were being run to determine when it could resume operations. Formosa Petrochemical president Tsao Mihn (曹明) said the refinery suffered no major damage and trial runs would resume in one or two weeks after a complete inspection.
Alleged spies charged
Two retired Taiwanese in their 60s have been indicted on charges of collecting information for China, prosecutors said yesterday, in the latest in a string of espionage cases. Tsai Kuo-bin (蔡國賓), a former official at the National Security Bureau, was charged with spying for China over a period of several years, the Banciao District Prosecutors’ Office said. Tsai, 65, went to China several times between 2007 and 2010 to hand over information on Taiwan’s intelligence units and politics, and was paid about NT$620,000 in total, according to prosecutors. He recruited another ex-secret agent, Wang Wei-ya (王維亞), 63, to try to acquire a banned book containing sensitive information on Taiwanese intelligence, the prosecutors’ office said.
Taiwanese dies in shooting
An Australian-born Taiwanese who was shot at a Brisbane shopping center on Wednesday last week has died, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Jack Lee was rushed to a local hospital shortly after being “shot at a close distance by an anonymous person,” Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Deputy Director-General James Chou (周穎華) said. Lee, who was reported to be in his early 20s, held dual citizenship in Taiwan and Australia. Because of Lee’s Taiwanese status, local police visited the ministry’s office in Brisbane on Friday last week to “exchange information,” Chou said, adding that the ministry would work closely with the Brisbane police in the investigation.
Tourist falls to his death
A Chinese man who fell into the sea while touring a scenic rock park along the northern coast on Monday died from his injuries after doctors failed to resuscitate him at a nearby hospital. According to police, the man, a 47-year-old Chinese national surnamed Jin (金), slipped and fell into the sea while taking pictures in a restricted area along the shore of the Yehliu Geopark. A patrol guard, who was posted a distance away, saw Jin ignoring a red warning line and entering the restricted area. He blew his whistle to warn the man, but to no avail, police said. A witness surnamed Lee (李) said he saw the tourist walking along the shore taking pictures, when the man slipped and disappeared from sight. Jin, who suffered several wounds to the head, was rescued and rushed to National Taiwan University Hospital’s Jinshan branch, police said. Doctors at the hospital tried to resuscitate him for 50 minutes, but were unsuccessful.