6 dead in covered-up coal mine accident in NE China

Updated: 2011-07-30 17:55


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HARBIN - Six people were killed in a coal mine explosion that had been covered up for 13 days in northeastern Heilongjiang Province, a provincial work safety official said Saturday.

The mine owner Wang Guomin has confessed that six people were killed in the blast in the Guomin Coal Mine in the Taoshan District of Qitaihe City at about 9:30 am on July 17.

The finding came after a joint provincial investigation team arrived in Qitaihe in response to reports from locals that a coal mine gas explosion killed several people.

The mine owner deliberately covered up the explosion, according to an initial investigation.

Cao Diantao, the district government's deputy head overseeing work safety, was dismissed from the office on Saturday, said sources with Qitaihe city government.

A probe into other officials who might be responsible for the accident has been carried out, with Gao Desheng, deputy director of the district's work safety bureau, facing a possible dismissal, according to the government sources.

A further investigation of the accident is underway.