Mine bosses jailed over colliery gas explosion

Updated: 2006-11-29 16:28

Two coal mine bosses held responsible for a gas explosion that killed 166 miners two years ago in northwest China's Shaanxi Province were sentenced to prison on Wednesday.

Liu Shuangming, former director of the Chenjiashan Coal Mine in Tongchuan City, was sentenced to five years and six months and Wang Youjun, former deputy director and chief engineer of the mine, received five years.

Yaozhou District People's Court of Tongchuan City heard that Liu and Wang had asked the miners to work despite being aware of the risks to their lives.

The tragedy happened on Nov. 28, 2004 at the Chenjiashan Coal Mine in Tongchuan City. A total of 293 miners were working underground when the deadly blast occurred.

Only 127 miners who were working near the entrance were rescued, including 45 who were injured in the blast.

The accident caused a direct economic loss of nearly 42 million yuan (5.2 million U.S. dollars).

Liu and Wang were blamed for the accident and arrested on Dec. 9, 2005 in Tongchuan by the Tongchuan Municipal Public Security Bureau.

The Chenjiashan Coal Mine is a state-owned company with 3,400 employees and a capacity of producing 2.6 million tons of coal a year.

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