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Chengde colliery officials arrested
(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-05-25 05:48

CHENGDE: Police have arrested four mining company officials accused of neglect of duties following last weeks mine explosion which trapped 84 miners - and killing 45 of them.

Police in Chengde, a city in North China's Hebei Province, said the four arrested are from the Nuan'erhe Mining Co Ltd, including General Manager Zheng Baozhang, Deputy General Manager in Charge of Work Safety Wang Yanghui, Section Chief of Work Safety Song Mingjie, On-Duty Dispatcher Fan Bao'an, according to Xinhua.

Wang Tangsheng, chairman of the board, and Lin Zaifeng, the chief dispatcher and deputy manager for production, have also been put under house arrest.

The coal mine explosion occurred at around 3 am last Thursday when 85 miners were working underground. Thirty-four were rescued within hours, but 51 others were trapped behind collapsed tunnels.

Rescue workers later saved one miner from the explosion scene, and discovered 45 bodies. Another five miners remain missing.

A spokesman from the rescue headquarters said the missing five might be buried under the debris and the chances of them being found alive are slim.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation. Sun Jisheng, the only survivor so far of the blast, was out of the critical condition early Monday, said the No 226 Hospital of Chinese People's Liberation Army which received Sun for treatment.

Meanwhile, in Huaibei, an important coal mining city in East China's Anhui Province, rescue workers yesterday discovered the remains of five miners who were trapped in a flooded coal mine.

The flooding occurred at around 12 at noon on Saturday at Haizi Coal Mine in Huaibei in the northern part of the province. About 30 miners escaped but five were trapped underground, a survivor told Xinhua.

Cause of the accident is under investigation.

The mine, which belongs to Huaibei Mining Group, is a State-owned coal producing business that began operation in October 1987. With a designed annual production capacity of 1.5 million tons, it now has 4,024 people on the payroll.

(China Daily 05/25/2005 page2)

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