Coal mine found concealing blast death toll

Updated: 2013-07-12 03:47


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BEIJING - A coal mine company was found to have concealed the death toll in a fatal gas explosion in northeast China's Jilin Province in March, according to an investigation report released Thursday by the State Council.

The explosion occurred around 10 a.m. on March 29 at Tonghua Mining Group's Babao Coal Mine Company in Baishan City. Jilin Province Coal Industry Group Co.,Ltd. is the parent company.

The coal mine company only reported 28 deaths and 13 injuries to avoid investigation while the real death toll amounted to 36, including one injured worker who died after medical treatment failed on March 31, said the report.

According to the report, the State Administration of Work Safety ordered the provincial government to verify casualty number on April 5 after receiving tip-off saying the company concealed the death toll.

On April 6, the provincial government confirmed that 36 people had died in the explosion and the company concealed deaths of seven victims, said the report.

Further investigation showed that Babao Coal Mine also concealed deaths of six workers in five accidents in 2012, the report said.

It said three gas explosions, which did not cause casualties, occurred in the mine in 2013 prior to the fatal accident in March and were not reported.

Another gas explosion happened in the same mine on April 1 when the company sent workers down the shaft to work, disregarding a government ban on operation. A total of 17 people died and eight were injured in the accident.