MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Chinese coal mine cover-up

Published by MAC on 2011-05-10
Source: Xinhua

At least 9 dead in covered-up mine accident in NE China


1 May 2011

At least nine people were killed in a coal mine accident that had been covered up for five days in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, a provincial work safety official said Sunday.

The mine owner has confessed that nine miners have been killed in the accident in Didao District of coal-rich Jixi City on April 26, the official said on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to speak to media before the investigation is finished.

The finding came after a joint provincial investigation team arrived in Jixi on Saturday, in response to rumors of a coal mine gas explosion that killed about 10 people.

A family member of one of the victims, however, told Xinhua that the accident was a gas leak.

The team were still investigating the accident at the privately-owned mine that has a designed annual production capacity of 40,000 tonnes.

The mine was suspected of illegal production as it was ordered to close for renovation at the time of accident.

Heilongjiang miners trapped after officials fail to cover up deadly accident

China Global Times - Xinhua

3 May  2011

Coal miners are still trapped underground one week after an explosion killed nine amid a failed coverup by local officials in the prefecture-level city of Jixi, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

Government officials had immediately ordered reporters not to report anything about the April 26 catastrophe, the Beijing Times reported.

The Didao district officials even told the media two days later that no explosion had been found after their investigation.

Their coverup faltered upon the arrival of a Heilongjiang provincial investigation team on Saturday.

Didao district deputy chief Han Shuguo and "several other lower level officials" had already been removed from their posts, Fang Dongchu, deputy general secretary of Jixi government, told Xinhua.

The coalmine's owner, who was not named in the article, confirmed that a gas explosion in the morning of April 26 had killed at least nine miners.

Some 123 rescuers in three teams were trying to save the stranded miners, the report said, without indicating how many were trapped.

The owner and managers of the coalmine are "under the control" of local police, Xinhua reported.

Fang told Xinhua that further investigation was needed to determine the exact causes.

With a production capacity of 40,000 tons a year, the private mine is suspected of having engaged in illegal production as it had been ordered to close for renovation at the time of the accident, Xinhua reported.

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