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EPA head suffers heart attack at Legislature

2016/03/31 16:29:16

EPA head Wei Kuo-yen (魏國彥), CNA file photo

Taipei, March 31 (CNA) Wei Kuo-yen (魏國彥), head of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), suffered a heart attack during a legislative hearing Thursday and is scheduled to undergo a cardiac catheterization procedure at National Taiwan University Hospital.

Wei, who tendered his resignation Wednesday over criticism of the EPA's handling of an oil spill, was attending a hearing in the Legislature's Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee when he suddenly asked to leave, saying he was feeling unwell.

He was taken to the Legislature's sick bay, where a cardiologist was on duty, and was later rushed to the nearby National Taiwan University Hospital.

After conducting a series of tests, the hospital said Wei had suffered a heart attack and had been scheduled for a cardiac catheterization procedure.

Wei tendered his resignation Wednesday after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國) criticized the EPA's handling of an oil spill from a container ship that ran aground off New Taipei on March 10.

Premier Simon Chang (張善政), however, had said he would not accept Wei's resignation over the incident, which has caused pollution along the shoreline of New Taipei.

On Wednesday, Wei said he would continue to attend legislative hearings until his resignation was accepted.

(By Yu Hsiao-han, Chen Wei-ting, Tai Ya-chen and Elaine Hou)