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Central govt to probe fatal colliery accident
Updated: 2005-08-11 11:47

The Chinese State Council will set up a special team to investigate the fatal colliery flooding accident in southern Guangdong Province.

The rescue headquarters for the accident said Wednesday that Li Yizhong, director of the National Bureau of Production Safety Supervision and Administration, has begun to make preparations for establishing the investigation team.

Rescue work at the Daxing Coal mine in Ningxing City, is underway. At least 123 miners were trapped in a flooding accident happened at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the mine and they were said to be almost impossible to survive.

By Wednesday evening, rescuers recovered the body of one of the trapped miners, but they have not found out the exact place where the water gushed into the tunnel, according to the headquarters.

By 9 p.m. Wednesday, more than 610 families of the victims have arrived at the Huanghuai Township, where the mine is located and they were arranged to live in nine hotels in Ningxing, said Zhao Ganlin, deputy secretary of the Ningxing Municipal Committee of Communist Party of China.

At the same time, some miners of the private-run Daxing Coal Mine have gone back to their home soon after the provincial government of Guangdong ordered all the coal mines in the province to suspend operation for a "thorough" safety examination.

Chen Xiaodong, who is from Dongjiang Town of neighboring Jiangxi Province and has worked in Daxing Coal Mine for more than one year, stood absentmindedly at a crossroad of the Huanghuai Township with his baggage by the side.

Chen has bought bus tickets home with 10 other fellow workers.

"The mine is really closed this time," he said.

Local government announced Wednesday that police have seized all 11 people, including the owner, manager, board chairman and chief technician of the Daxing Coal Mine, who ran away after the accident.

Also on Wednesday, two officials were given disciplinary warnings as they did not perform their duty during the rescue work.

Shi Quan, who is on duty at a shaft of the Daxing Coal Mine, and Zeng Xianji, an official with the Xingning City Coal Industry Bureau, were accused of not reporting timely and accurately the water level in the flooded shaft.

The headquarters in charge of the rescue work urged all rescuers to fulfill their duties and any one who neglect their duties will be removed from their posts immediately.

Two mayors, who are responsible for the colliery flooding accident, have been suspended from duties, local government announced Tuesday.

He Zhengba, mayor of Meizhou, and Zeng Xianghai, mayor of Xingning, were blamed for being incompetent for supervising the coal mine production in the area under their jurisdiction, according to the provincial government.

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