Residents seek compensation from state oil firm after spill

Taipei, Sept. 1 (CNA) Residents of an area affected by a chemical spill were seeking compensation from CPC Corp., Taiwan, Monday whose facility had been suspected of causing the spill that sent more than 1,000 people to hospital in Kaohsiung last week.
An executive of a CPC-owned company promised to convey to the state-run oil company the compensation demands made by Cijin District residents, city officials and others during negotiations following the spill. The proposals for compensation were presented during a meeting with opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members, city government officials and Cijin residents who were affected by the leak, Lai Chia-lu said. During the negotiations with CPC executives, residents of the five most severely affected neighborhoods complained of nausea, dizziness and difficulty in functioning. DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling suggested that CPC offer between NT$800,000 (US$26,623) and NT$1 million to the affected residents in each of the five neighborhoods to help cover their medical bills and loss of pay from work. Lai said CPC would respond to the requests as soon as possible. Some 1.63 metric tons of mixed aromatics -- a kind of petroleum resin -- spilled into Kaohsiung Harbor last Thursday when a leak opened in a pipeline running from the CPC plant in Cianjhen District to a Hong Kong-registered tanker bound for China. Over 1,000 residents in Cijin, located across from Cianjhen, had to seek medical attention after chemical fumes from the leak spewed into air. (By Wang Shu-fen and Scully Hsiao)