Deaths 'concealed' in coal mine

Updated: 2013-04-08 01:59

By XU WEI in Beijing and LIU MINGTAI in Changchun (China Daily)

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Watchdog says blasts in Jilin killed 42 workers, 11 remain missing

The State Council will launch full investigations into two gas blasts at a coal mine in Jilin province that involve concealing the number of dead from the first blast, China's work safety watchdog announced.

The Babao Coal Mine in Baishan saw two explosions in four days in the last two weeks, and reports by authorities said 29 people were killed in the first blast and seven in the second.

However, the provincial government said on Sunday that another seven deaths from the first gas explosion on March 29 were deliberately not reported by the coal mine.

The investigation team, led by Yang Dongliang, director of the State Administration of Work Safety, will launch a thorough investigation and also vowed to bring those responsible to justice, the administration said.

The provincial government also announced a list of seven dead rescue workers and miners who were concealed from the initial report.

According to an official with the provincial government, coal mine officials lied about the number of deaths after the first blast before a whistle-blower reported it to provincial authorities.

According to a regulation by the State Administration of Work Safety, accidents that cause 15 to 30 deaths and accidents that cause more than 30 deaths will lead to different penalties.

So far, 42 deaths have been reported in the two blasts. There are still 11 people missing from the second blast on April 2, and their chances of survival are slim, according to authorities.

Meanwhile, authorities are still trying to extinguish the coal fire inside the mine, which started after the second blast.

The 15 injured miners and rescue workers in the two blasts are in now in stable condition, the provincial government said.

Babao Coal Mine, owned by the Tonghua Coal Mining Group, is a State-owned mine with annual production of 1.8 million metric tons.

The two gas blasts are the sixth and seventh coal mine accidents to cause at least 10 deaths this year, according to the State Administration of Work Safety.

In Southwest China's Guizhou province, rescuers on Sunday were still trying to reach three miners who were trapped in a coal mine flood, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The coal mine in Weng'an county was hit by flood on Friday when nine miners were trapped underground and 32 others managed to escape.

Three miners have been confirmed dead in the flooding and another three miners remain missing.

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28 blamed for elevator accident

Twenty-eight people are being held responsible for an accident with an elevator that killed 19 painters at a construction site in Wuhan, Hubei province, last year.

The painters were going up in the elevator outside a residential building under construction in the Donghujingyuan development on Sept 13 when it plunged 100 meters to the ground.

A provincial investigation found that two of the four bolts that held the elevator in place were missing, and because it was overloaded with 19 adults and 250 kg of cargo, the final two bolts broke, causing the fall, Wuhan-based Chutian Metropolis Daily reported on April 7.

The provincial government said 28 people and several city government departments and companies were responsible for the serious work safety accident.

The committees and heads of housing and rural-urban development, urban administration and other departments in Wuhan that were involved were ordered to investigate and critique their role in the accident. Companies involved in the project will be re-inspected and receive an administrative penalty. An illegal building in this compound was confiscated.

Construction on the project has been put on hold since the accident.


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