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Corruption behind coal mine woes targetted
By Wang Zhenghua (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-01 05:56

China's central government said yesterday that the country must crack down heavily on the rampant corruption that is behind so many coal mining accidents.

Rescuers carry a water pump during rescue operations at the flooded coal mine in Huanghuai town in Xingning city, August 9, 2005. [newsphoto]
Participants of yesterday' s executive meeting of the State Council said that there exist some government officials who get involved in the coal business in return for illegal money. They have become the "umbrella" for the illegal operation of some mines.

The meeting, chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, deliberated and passed in principle a draft regulation on coal mine disaster prevention, Xinhua reported.

According to the regulation, coal mines must suspend operation immediately once a hidden problem is detected. If the mines continue illegal operation, a strict penalty will be given.

Another measure for disaster prevention is that miners should receive safety training and pass an examination before taking the job. Also, coal mine managers must take turns going underground and working with miners.

The move showed that the central government seems increasingly determined to curb the carnage at deadly coal mines.

It signals that the country is constructing a sound legal system to prevent coal mine accidents.

Also yesterday, 11 individuals, including a deputy Party secretary and a deputy head of a county in North China's Shanxi Province, were prosecuted for covering up a coal mine accident in Ningwu County.
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