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3 injured in Qingdao blasts regain consciousness

Updated: 2013-11-27 22:34
( Xinhua)

QINGDAO - Three of the 10 people critically injured in Friday's deadly oil pipeline explosions in the eastern Chinese coastal city of Qingdao have regained consciousness, the rescue headquarters said on Wednesday.

Of the three, two who suffered brain injuries have been moved to general hospital wards, the headquarters said. Meanwhile, several other critically injured people are also no longer relying on respirators.

At 3 a.m. on Friday, crude oil began leaking from an underground pipeline operated by Sinopec in Qingdao's Huangdao District.

The spill then flowed into the city's rainwater pipe network, which empties into Jiaozhou Bay. Explosions ripped through residential and commercial roads in Huangdao at around 10:30 a.m. on Friday when workers were clearing the spill.

The blasts have taken 55 lives, left around 140 others injured and nine missing.

Psychological experts have checked 400 people, including the injured and the victims' families. More than 40 of them were found to be suffering psychological problems and are currently the targets of interventions by local health authorities.

In addition, local insurance companies have received claims worth 12 million yuan (2 million U.S. dollars) for property damage and loss, and worth millions more yuan for injuries and loss of life.

The rescue headquarters said on Wednesday that a section of pipeline linking Huangdao with Dongying City has been permanently ordered out of service after it was identified as responsible for the leakage that caused the blasts. It had been in service for 27 years.

Meanwhile, the headquarters added, all oil and chemical pipelines under another two major roads will be moved to underground passages used exclusively for petrochemicals in another part of Huangdao.

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