Mayor deposed following deadly colliery gas blast

Updated: 2007-12-19 21:38

TAIYUAN -- Li Tiantai, the mayor of Linfen in north China's Shanxi Province, has been removed from his post as the city's deputy Party chief after being found responsible for a colliery accident that killed 105.

Li, who was also expelled from the city's standing committee of Communist Party of China (CPC), breached his duty of supervising the mine's work safety, the Shanxi provincial CPC committee said in a notice on Wednesday.

He will be replaced by Xia Zhengui, former mayor of Jincheng City, the notice said.

The provincial CPC committee also suggested to the People's Congress of Linfen, the city's legislature, to remove Li from the mayoral post.

Following the deadly explosion on December 5 at Xinyao Coal Mine, Hongtong County, Linfen City, colliery managers were found to have delayed reporting the accident to local authorities.

The incident was believed to be the nation's second deadliest mining accident this year. In August, 181 miners died when heavy rain flooded two mines in eastern Shandong Province.

Li issued a public apology about one week after the explosion, saying "the tragedy, which made it hard for him to sleep, had revealed security loopholes in the city's coal mining industry".

Police detained 36 people allegedly linked to the accident, including mine owner Wang Donghai. Shanxi Province also ordered all illegal coal mines to close in response to the fatal mine explosion.

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