World

9 detained after oil pipeline blasts in eastern China killed 55, with 9 others still missing

  • In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, visits a patient injured in deadly explosions that ripped through residential and commercial roads from a ruptured pipeline owned by the country's largest oil refiner,  at the Huangdao branch of the hospital affiliated with the Medical College of Qingdao University in Qingdao, a coastal city in east China's Shandong Province, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. Dozens were killed in Friday's industrial accident in eastern China and rescue efforts were continuing.  The accident was the deadliest involving state-owned company Sinopec. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Huang Jingwen)

    In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, visits a patient injured in deadly explosions that ripped through residential and commercial roads from a ruptured pipeline owned by the country's largest oil refiner, at the Huangdao branch of the hospital affiliated with the Medical College of Qingdao University in Qingdao, a coastal city in east China's Shandong Province, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. Dozens were killed in Friday's industrial accident in eastern China and rescue efforts were continuing. The accident was the deadliest involving state-owned company Sinopec. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Huang Jingwen)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, workers dig through rubble at the site of a pipeline explosion in Qingdao Development Zone, in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. Deadly explosions ripped through residential and commercial roads from a ruptured pipeline owned by the country's largest oil refiner on Friday, killing dozens. At least 10 people were still missing, according to the information office of the government of the port city of Qingdao, and rescue efforts were continuing. The accident was the deadliest involving state-owned company Sinopec.  (AP Photo/Xinhua, Li Ziheng)

    In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, workers dig through rubble at the site of a pipeline explosion in Qingdao Development Zone, in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. Deadly explosions ripped through residential and commercial roads from a ruptured pipeline owned by the country's largest oil refiner on Friday, killing dozens. At least 10 people were still missing, according to the information office of the government of the port city of Qingdao, and rescue efforts were continuing. The accident was the deadliest involving state-owned company Sinopec. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Li Ziheng)  (The Associated Press)

  • Firefighters work on a damaged site following a pipeline explosion in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. Leaked oil from a ruptured oil pipe, owned by China's largest oil refiner, Sinopec, caught fire and exploded Friday in an eastern Chinese port city, killing and injuring many people. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT

    Firefighters work on a damaged site following a pipeline explosion in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. Leaked oil from a ruptured oil pipe, owned by China's largest oil refiner, Sinopec, caught fire and exploded Friday in an eastern Chinese port city, killing and injuring many people. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT  (The Associated Press)

Police have detained seven employees of China's largest oil refiner, Sinopec, following last week's oil pipeline blast that killed at least 55 people when it ripped through residential and commercial roads in an eastern port city.

Two Qingdao city employees also were in police custody, according to a statement late Monday from local authorities.

Three more bodies were found on the scene Monday, raising the death toll to 55, Qingdao police said. They said of the 52 confirmed dead earlier, 42 were male. Friday's blast also injured more than 160 people and left nine others missing.

The accident was the deadliest involving state-owned company Sinopec.

The pipeline ruptured and leaked for about 15 minutes onto a street and into the sea. Hours later, the oil caught fire and exploded in two locations, the city government said.

Sinopec's expansion of petrochemical projects has met with resistance from members of the public, and Friday's blasts will likely add to growing concern about safety and environmental risks.

Sinopec apologized Saturday for the explosions. It said it would investigate and "give timely reports."