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Investigation into May 19 coal mine blast ends; compensation paid
Updated: 2005-07-03 10:31

Investigation into the May 19 coal mine blast in north China's Hebei Province has come to an end and families of all the 49 miners killed have been compensated, the provincial coal mine work safety administration said yesterday.

Each family has received 200,000 yuan (US$24,000) in compensation from Nuan'erhe Mining Co in the city of Chengde, where the explosion occurred at around 3:00 am on May 19.

Altogether 85 miners were working down the pit when the accident occurred. Thirty-four were lifted up to the ground and 51 got trapped -- of whom 49 were confirmed dead, one survived and another one was never found.

Search and rescue for the missing miner ended on June 16 at the approval of the local government.

An investigation team sent by the State Council, the Chinese Cabinet, have left Chengde this week, after a six-week-long investigation at the site.

Located at Nanzhangzi Village in Bajia Township, the coal mine used to be state-owned, but was auctioned to the Beijing Guodian Zhongneng Electric Fuel Investment Co, Ltd for 65 million yuan (about US$7.8 million) in December 2003.

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