Shin Shin Natural Gas Co (欣欣天然氣) president Lee Ching-kuo (李清國) yesterday apologized during a visit to the site of Friday’s gas explosion in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店), pledging to shoulder the costs of any repairs the residents of the complex should require.
The explosion in a third-floor apartment claimed two lives and injured 13 people.
The chief executive of the apartment building’s management committee has accused Shin Shin of failing to properly handle a suspected natural gas leak on Thursday afternoon after residents complained of having smelled natural gas.
Lee yesterday acknowledged that if the company’s personnel had been more attuned to the seriousness of the situation and called for a thorough inspection when they received the calls, it might have been able to avert the disaster.
Lee said the firm would revise its procedure for handling reports of suspected gas leaks and would refit all pipes in the building within three days.
“We will also install microcomputers on the pipes to alert us to any leaks, so we will be able to remotely shut off the valves and stop the flow of gas,” Lee said.
However, Lee said that there were difficulties making thorough inspections in high-rise apartment buildings.
Usually, the buildings have security measures in place that ensure residents’ privacy, Lee said, adding that even during an inspection, the company’s technicians can only follow the executive director, instead of making a unit-by-unit inspection.
That said, Lee pledged that the company would in the future consider contacting the resident who made the first call for confirmation, and that it would also step up employees’ training for responding to such calls.
Separately, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office confiscated inspection kits, gas pipes and maintenance records used by workers on Thursday for further investigation.
It also requested that the residential complex provide a copy of the management committee’s logbook, as well as security footage.
The US Department of State yesterday criticized Beijing over its misrepresentation of the US’ “one China” policy in the latest diplomatic salvo between the two countries over a bid by Taiwan to regain its observer status at the World Health Assembly, the decisionmaking body of the WHO. “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to publicly misrepresent U.S. policy,” Department of State spokesman Ned Price wrote on Twitter. “The United States does not subscribe to the PRC’s ‘one China principle’ — we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Joint Communiques, and
FATES LINKED: The US president said that sanctions on Russia over Ukraine must exact a ‘long-term price,’ because otherwise ‘what signal does that send to China?’ US President Joe Biden yesterday vowed that US forces would defend Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese attack in his strongest statement to date on the issue. Beijing is already “flirting with danger,” Biden said following talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, in which the pair agreed to monitor Chinese naval activity and joint Chinese-Russian exercises. Asked if Washington was willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, he replied: “Yes.” “That’s the commitment we made,” Biden said. “We agreed with the ‘one China’ policy, we signed on to it ... but the idea that it can be
INFORMATION LEAKED: Documents from Xinjiang purportedly showed top leaders in Beijing calling for a forceful crackdown and even orders to shoot to kill Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) yesterday held a videoconference with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet as she visited Xinjiang during a mission overshadowed by fresh allegations of Uighur abuses and fears she is being used as a public relations tool. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been accused of detaining more than 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the region as part of a years-long crackdown the US and lawmakers in other Western nations have labeled a “genocide.” China denies the allegations. Bachelet was expected to visit the cities of Urumqi and Kashgar on a six-day tour. The US
SUBTLE? While Biden said the US policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’ on Taiwan had not changed, the group targeted China and Russia without naming them Leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the US yesterday warned against attempts to “change the status quo by force,” as concerns grow about whether China could invade Taiwan. The issue of Taiwan loomed over a leadership meeting in Tokyo of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) nations — the US, Japan, Australia and India — who stressed their determination to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region in the face of an increasingly assertive China, although Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the group was not targeting any one country. The four leaders said in a joint statement issued after their talks