Sixty people, including police and reporters were injured during a protest in Changhua County when protesters clashed with police over the closing down of a chemical plant.
Workers at the Formosa Plastics Group factory are facing unemployment after the Changhua County Environmental Protection Agency refused to renew the plant’s operating license.
Seven people required treatment at a local hospital after the clash, including a police officer who suffered a fractured finger. A news reporter was also injured. Protesters hurled full bottles of water at police and officials.
The crowd of up to 1000 workers and family members broke through the police cordon and entered the County Government building at around 9:45am.
Sixteen people have been detained for questioning.
County Mayor Wei Ming-ku said in an interview in Taipei yesterday that when he said he wanted Formosa Plastics Group out of Changhua County, he had meant that there were no justifications for polluting factories in the county. He said Formosa Plastics Group had large financial resources, and if they are willing to change their processes to comply with EPA standards, the county would be open to that.
Some sections of the plant have already been shut down, and the final shutdown procedure is due to be completed by December 8.