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19 punished for fatal gypsum mine collapse in E China

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-11-24 15:43
JINAN - Nineteen people were punished for misconduct in a fatal gypsum mine collapse in east China's Shandong Province last December, which killed one worker and left 13 unaccounted for.

The gypsum mine collapsed on Dec. 25, 2015 in Baotai Town, Pingyi County, when 29 miners were working underground.

The accident resulted in a direct economic loss of 41.3 million yuan (5.96 million U.S. dollars).

Fifteen miners who were rescued after the collapse were discharged from hospital in February this year.

Strong tremors triggered by the sudden fracture of limestone on the roof of a severely weathered neighboring gypsum goaf caused the mine to collapse, according to an investigation by Shandong work safety supervision bureau earlier this week.

Yurong Company, owner of the collapsed mine, bears the principal responsibility, for failing to monitor and safely maintain the mine.

Poor risk awareness and safety control, as well as inadequate regard for possible dangers in room-and-pillar mining, a method used to develop gypsum mines, were also causes the of the collapse, the report said.

Three people in control of the mine, believed to be liable for the fatal accident, have been arrested by local police.

Two officials from the local land and resources bureau were found guilty of dereliction of duty, while 14 other local officials were punished for violating the Party's political discipline.

Ma Congbo, president of Yurong, who committed suicide a few days after the accident, will not be subject to criminal liabilities, investigators said.

Yurong Company was also ordered to pay a fine of 3 million yuan (433,500 U.S. dollars).
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