China / Society

13 involved in deadly coal mine accident

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-01-04 19:45

ZHENGZHOU - Thirteen people, including a vice mayor, allegedly tried to conceal a coal mine flooding that killed seven workers in central China's Henan Province, local safety authorities said on Saturday.

The flooding happened around 11 am on December 22 at a coal mine in Zhulin Town of Gongyi City, trapping 16 miners underground.

They were all retrieved and sent to hospital by 1:10 pm. However, seven of them died.

The town government, Dayugou Coal Mine Co, Ltd, the owner of the coal mine and a mining team were accused of withholding information, according to a statement from Gongyi city government.

The statement said the provincial coal mine safety supervision department looked into the accident after it was tipped off by locals on December 23.

A preliminary investigation confirmed on December 31 that seven people died and nine others were injured. The findings were reported to the provincial government.

Four people from the mine have been taken into custody. Vice mayor of Gongyi City has been suspended and three county heads, two of the company's heads and three officials from the city's coal bureau have been removed from their posts.

A further investigation is under way.

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