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Hu urges proper handling of aftermath of ROK explosion
Latest Updated at 2008-January-9 09:38:06
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South Korean fire fighters stand next to the remains of the warehouse in Icheon, 80 km southeast of South Korea's capital Seoul, Jan. 8, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

 

12 Chinese citizens were killed and one in seriously condition in the explosion and fire occurring in the basement of a two-story warehouse that claimed 40 lives. (Xinhua Photo)

Firefighters carry the body of a victim at a storehouse in Icheon city, South Korea, Jan. 7, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

Chinese President Hu Jintao has called for the proper handling of the aftermath of Monday's explosion and subsequent fire in the Republic of Korea (ROK) which killed 12 Chinese citizens, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Hu told relevant departments in China to keep in close contact with the ROK side and make active efforts in the rescue and treatment of the wounded.

The explosion occurred on Monday morning in the basement of a two-story warehouse in Icheon, which led to 40 deaths including 12 Chinese. The ROK government also confirmed that one Chinese was seriously injured in the accident.

President Hu urged authorities of both sides to provide convenience to relatives of the victims for their trip to the ROK. He extended his deep condolences to all the dead in the accident.

Premier Wen Jiabao also required relevant departments to try their best to rescue the wounded and settle the aftermath.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Chinese embassy in ROK have triggered off emergency mechanism to cope with the issue. The 12 Chinese victims will be identified in two weeks by DNA tests, said an official with the Chinese embassy.

Chinese Ambassador to ROK Ning Fukui met with ROK Assistant Foreign Minister Shim Yoon-jo Tuesday morning and expressed great concerns over the accident.

Ning urged the ROK government to take appropriate measures to deal with the casualties during the meeting.

Yan Fenglan, the consul general of the Chinese embassy in Seoul, arrived in Icheon early Tuesday to handle the matter.

Yan told Xinhua that she is working with ROK officials to confirm the identities of the victims and discuss afterwards measures.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said Tuesday afternoon the Ministry and the embassy in ROK are closely following the matter.

Embassy: Chinese victims from ROK blast to be identified after 2 weeks

The identities of 12 Chinese victims from a massive explosion at a warehouse in South Korea's Icheon city on Monday will be approved after two weeks due to the DNA tests, said an official of the Chinese Embassy on Tuesday.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the identities of two Chinese citizens killed in the explosion have been confirmed, said Yan Fenglan, consul general of the Chinese Embassy in South Korea. Yan arrived in Icheon early on the day to inspect the accident spot and visit families of Chinese victims.

A total of 12 Chinese were killed in the tragedy in Icheon, about 80 km southeast of Seoul, Yan said.

The identities of the remaining ten Chinese victims will be clear after two weeks when the DNA tests by the South Korean police come out, Yan said.

Another Chinese citizen injured in the accident is still in critical condition, Yan said.

Yan met with South Korean officials in Icheon and met with families of Chinese victims. She urged the South Korean side to take appropriate measures to deal with the casualties and promised to the families of Chinese victims that the embassy will do its utmost to protect the interests of Chinese citizens in South Korea.

According to the local government, among a total of 40 victims from Monday's explosion, there are 12 Chinese and one Uzbek nationality.

Local police are investigating into the cause of the tragedy. Police said the investigation will concentrate on the basement floor, where most of the dead were found on its passageway and ventilation facility.

Cheon Ho-seon, spokesman for President Roh Moo-hyun, said Tuesday that the Presidential Office will "do all the things it should" to identify the cause of the fire and respond to the victims.

President-elect Lee Myung-bak, who will take office on Feb. 25, paid an impromptu visit to the scene of the accident and met with families of the victims on Tuesday. He expressed condolence to the families of the casualties.

South Korean Foreign Minister Song Min-soon announced early on the day that he will send a condolence letter to his Chinese counterpart. The Foreign Ministry will dispatch its top ambassador for consular affair, Gabriel Oh, to Icheon to help proceed the victims' funerals and compensation.

Local media said South Korean human rights activists will launch a joint organization to devise compensation measures for the workers from China.

The compensation measures are not yet clear.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: chinanews.cn

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