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Chinese Workers Injured in Congo (Brazzaville) Blasts Return to Beijing

At 20:40 March 10, 2012, the 31 Chinese workers injured in the blasts in Congo (Brazzaville) arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport by chartered plan accompanied by the Chinese medical staffs and part of the members of the Chinese government's joint working group. Vice Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng, Beijing Executive Vice Mayor Ji Lin, Deputy Mayor Cheng Hong and officials of related departments and enterprise received them and conveyed deep grief over the 6 deceased and sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and the injured on behalf of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council leaders. The wounded workers were immediately sent to hospitals for further examination and treatment.

Receiving a short on-site interview by the reporter, Xie Hangsheng said that the CPC Central Committee and the State Council leaders attached great importance to the event and were deeply concerned about the safety of Chinese citizens. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese embassy in Congo (Brazzaville), the Beijing municipal government and relevant enterprise coordinated and worked with each other closely. The Chinese government dispatched a joint working group led by the Beijing municipal government and attended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other agencies to Brazzaville for the treatment and transfer of the injured and handling of the aftermath of the deceased. Results have been achieved. The Chinese side appreciates that Congo (Brazzaville) extended active help for the treatment, transfer and handling of the aftermath of Chinese citizens under difficult conditions.

He stressed that lately there had occurred several major incidents affecting the safety of Chinese citizens abroad. It shows that the security risks abroad are getting diversified and security situation becomes more severe. He hopes Chinese citizens and enterprises abroad effectively raise awareness of risks and take preventative measures. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and related departments will continue to spare no efforts to protect the security and legitimate interests of Chinese citizens and enterprises abroad.

On March 4 local time, an arsenal in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo exploded. According to the official source of Congo (Brazzaville), around 200 were killed and more than 2,000 injured during the blasts. President Hu Jintao has called President Denis Sassou-Nguesso and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi called Foreign Minister Basile Ikouébé to express grief and condolence on the heavy casualties caused by the explosion. China has provided Congo (Brazzaville) with emergency assistance. The blasts killed 6 Chinese workers and injured 45 working on the nearby construction site of Beijing Construction Engineering Group. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council leaders paid high attention to the event and were deeply concerned about the security of Chinese citizens. Chinese ambassador to Congo (Brazzaville) rushed to the site to coordinate the rescue and guide the handling of the aftermath. On March 5, a Vice Chinese Foreign Minister especially set up a meeting with the charge d'affaires of Congo (Brazzaville) embassy in China. The Beijing municipal government sent a five-member medical expert group and related enterprise dispatched people to Brazzaville. In the afternoon of March 9 local time, 31 injured workers left Brazzaville by a chartered plane and returned to China next day for further treatment. So far, the injured are in fairly stable conditions. The 14 Chinese workers who have minor injuries and still stay in Brazzaville will be arranged to return to China by plane as soon as possible. The joint working group of the Chinese government and the Chinese embassy in Congo (Brazzaville) will continue to handle the aftermath of the victims.

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