Taiwanese authorities fined a golf ball maker $75,000 on Monday and warned of criminal charges for storing 30 times the legal limit of hazardous material and other violations after a major factory fire killed nine people and left another missing.
The mayor of Pingtung County said at a press conference that Launch Technologies Co. had 3,000 tons of organic peroxides at the site, far more than the 100 tons of hazardous material allowed, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported.
Those responsible will be held accountable for public danger and manslaughter, Mayor Chou Chun-mi said.
CHINA DEPLOYS OVER 40 AIRCRAFT IN TAIWAN STRAIT, BUILDING FORCES AT COASTAL MILITARY BASES, TAIWAN WARNS
Company officials could not be reached for comment.
It was unclear what caused the fire Friday, but two explosions in the already burning building trapped firefighters and workers under rubble. Four firefighters were among the nine who died. More than 100 other people were injured.
Organic peroxides, which are highly flammable, are used in a variety of rubber products, including golf ball cores. Launch Technologies is one of the world’s leading golf ball manufacturers, producing 20% of the global supply last year.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Taiwanese law requires organic peroxides to be stored in a separate warehouse building, but Launch Technologies kept the material on the first floor of the factory building, Chou said.
Larger fines were assessed for failing to designate a person to help fight the fire and for failing to provide a complete inventory of organic peroxides on site when firefighters arrived, he said.