Presenter:Three government functionaries were found guilty in the second ruling of a case related to the 2014 Kaohsiung gas explosions. The Kaohsiung City Government said it respects the judges' decision as the case cannot be appealed, but said it is "regretful" that no companies were held accountable for the incident.
In 2014, a series of gas explosions occurred in Kaohsiung, destroying several roads and killing 32 people, and injuring another 321. Prosecutors charged a city government consultant named Chao Chien-chiao, who had worked as an engineer 21 years ago, and two other government functionaries, as well as LCY Group Chairperson Bowei Lee and eight employees. In the second trial, Chao and the two other functionaries were found guilty, but the others were acquitted. Prosecutors appealed, and the verdict was issued on Sept. 15. The Supreme Court rejected the appeal.
Chen Chi-mai, Kaohsiung City Mayor:”The judgment clarifies the responsibility for the negligence that occurred in the project 21 years ago. As for the usage and maintenance of the pipelines, no one was held accountable, and we are disappointed.”
Chao asked to resign immediately after, and his request was granted. He declined to comment. The Kaohsiung City Government said it respects the ruling, but it was disappointed that no companies were held criminally responsible.
Victim:” Companies should bear joint responsibility. There was poor supervision, right? Of course, this isn't fair. What can you say about this sentence?”
The majority of the victims of the gas explosions said they had no other choice but to accept the ruling. The city government said a civil appeal is still ongoing and it will do whatever it can to help.