China official apologises for mouldy relief rations

A damaged building is seen after super typhoon Rammasun hit the area in Wenchang, south China's Hainan province on July 18, 2014.

The head of the civil affairs bureau in Hainan province has apologised for sending mouldy food to typhoon victims in Wenchang city, Hainan province.

Residents living in Wenchang, which was heavily damaged by Typhoon Rammasun, received relief materials including bottled water and bread on Sunday afternoon, but the bread, baked on July 1, was mouldy.

Miao Jianzhong, head of the province's civil affairs bureau said on Monday that the bureau takes the blame for sending mouldy bread to victims, Beijing Times reported on Tuesday.

"It's our fault, and I am deeply sorry for the victim families," Miao said at a news conference on Monday afternoon.

He said the bureau bought more than 1,100 cases of food including bread, cakes and biscuits on Saturday. After the exposure of the mouldy bread sent to Wenchang on Sunday, the bureau sent teams to investigate and sealed all further relief materials to the city.

All are waiting for further examination by food safety departments.

The authority said it will release results of the investigation soon and Miao promised anyone involved in the case would pay a huge price. If officials are found to have taken bribes in the case, there will be serious punishment, he said.

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