Coal mine blast kills 18 in Jilin

Updated: 2013-04-22 06:54

By Ding Luyang in Changchun and Wang Xiaodong in Beijing (China Daily)

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An explosion in a coal mine killed 18 people and injured 12 others in Jilin province on Saturday when the mine operators defied a government order of suspending the work for inspections.

The blast occurred at 1:26 pm on Saturday in the Qingxing coal mine in Helong.

Seventy-three people were working underground, and 55 of them were lifted to safety.

All of the injured were receiving treatment in hospitals and were in stable condition, the Jilin provincial information office said in a statement on Sunday.

The mine's senior managers have been detained by police, and the Qingxing coal mine's operating permit has been canceled, according to the statement.

The accident came after all Jilin coal mines were ordered to suspend operations following two coal mine accidents that claimed 53 lives.

Investigators believe Saturday's accident was caused by negligence, the statement said.

The Qingxing coal mine did not conduct safety checks and continued working illegally after the suspension order, and the local government failed to properly supervise it, according to the statement.

The province will send supervision teams to all 210 coal mines in the province to ensure they have halted production for safety inspections, the statement said.

On March 29 and again on April 1 explosions occurred at the Babao coal mine, which employs more than 3,500 people and belongs to the State-owned Tonghua Mining Group.

Seven officials responsible for the explosions were placed under investigation or detained, government authorities said.