China bosses jailed for mine flood that killed 172 peoplePublished by MAC on 2008-04-20
by PlanetArk (Reuters)BEIJING - Two Chinese coal mine managers have been jailed for seven years for negligence after a colliery flood killed 172 workers, the country's worst such accident in decades, local media said on Wednesday. The tragedy happened in August 2007 when a river dyke burst in torrential rain, sending water rushing into two mineshafts. The miners were declared dead after weeks of trying to pump out the water ended in vain.
Zheng Zhenxiu, chairman of the privately operated Huayuan Mining Co. in the eastern province of Shandong, and deputy general manager Zhang Canjun were both found guilty of negligence, the Guangzhou Daily said.
"The managers failed to halt production and order an evacuation in time, delaying the chance for the miners to escape," the report, carried on the Web site of China News Service (www.chinanews.com.cn), quoted an investigator as saying.
China's coal mining industry is the deadliest in the world, as mine owners push production beyond safety limits in the face of robust demand and soaring profits amid an economic boom.
A total of 3,786 Chinese coal miners died in gas blasts, flooding and other accidents in 2007, down 20 percent from 2006.
Officials say China, undergoing rapid industrialisation, may need another decade before there is a drastic fall in coal mine and other industrial deaths.
(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Guo Shipeng and Nick Macfie)
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE