Sun, Aug 10, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Court orders freeze of gas firm’s assets, seeks details

Staff writer, with CNA

The Kaohsiung District Court on Friday approved an appeal by the city government for a provisional attachment order for the assets of a petrochemical company thought to be involved in the deadly gas explosions that rocked Kaohsiung on July 31 and Aug. 1.

The ruling came two days after the city government applied for the provisional attachment order against LCY Chemical Corp seeking NT$1.9 billion (US$63.3 million) to prevent the firm from hiding assets to avoid potential compensation payments to the victims of the blasts, which killed 30 people and left more than 300 injured.

Kaohsiung Information Bureau Director-General Ting Yun-kong (丁允恭) said the city government had not yet received a court document stating the ruling. As soon as the document is in hand, it is to allocate funds for the required deposit for the attachment, he said, describing the court order as “the best way to protect citizens’ rights and benefits.”

In addition, the district court also approved applications by Chen Kuan-jung (陳冠榮), head of a self-help association of the families of people killed in the gas explosions, and Chen Chao-hui (陳昭惠), a representative of the families of the firefighters who died in the accident, to freeze NT$4.5 million and NT$2 million respectively of LCY Chemical’s assets.

Leaks of propene, also known as propylene, from a pipeline owned by LCY Chemical are thought to be the cause of the devastating explosions that ripped up a total of 6km of roadway in the southern city.

Meanwhile, LCY Chemical said it is to open a bank account for the deposit of NT$650 million as a fund for possible compensation payments to the victims.

The proposal to set up the compensation fund was approved at a company board meeting earlier in the day, the listed company said.

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