Nation's disasters appear in threes
( 2003-11-17 09:38) (China Daily)
Three dreadful explosions in quick succession accompanied an earthquake of 5.1 on the Richter scale hit China in a black three days that have found people struggling with tragedies in different parts of the country.
An independent fact-finding team was set up Sunday to look into a coal mine explosion that killed 49 miners and injured seven others on Friday in East China's Jiangxi Province.
Team officials held their first meeting at the province's Jianxin Coal Mine where the tragedy occurred, and said they would carry out an investigation over two or three days.
They said it would take about three months to finish a final report, to be submitted to the State Council.
The team consists of Liang Jiakun, deputy director of State Administration of Coal Mine Safety Supervision, and Ling Chengxing, vice-governor of Jiangxi Province and other officials and work safety experts from the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, Ministry of Supervision and the province.
Rescue and clean-up concluded on Sunday as all the bodies of the 49 miners were sent up.
The blast occurred at the large State-owned mine at 11:45 am on Friday.
The coal mine, with an annual production capacity of 600,000 tons, has been ordered to stop production while Jiangxi provincial government issued an emergency notice on Saturday to demand prevention of major accidents in the province, especially in coal mines, fireworks factories, public venues and transport.
In another development, four people have been confirmed dead and the number of injured people rose to 65 in the earthquake that hit Southwest China's Yunnan Province on Saturday, Vice-Mayor of Zhaotong Suo Fei said Sunday. Of the injured, 14 were in critical condition, according to the local hospital.
About 600 houses collapsed and 98,700 others have been damaged by the earthquake in populated villages in the city, said Suo Fei. And more than 57,200 students from 37 schools had to stay at home as the school buildings were in danger.
Measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, the quake jolted Ludian County and the nearby Zhaoyang District of Zhaotong at 2:49 am on Saturday, according to the State Seismological Bureau.
A total of 200 tents and 150 quilts were sent to the quake-hit areas, while most local residents moved into tents or temporary shelters Saturday night.
As of press time, rescue work is well under way and more relief materials are on the way to the quake-affected areas.
In Beihai of South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, two fireworks workshop explosions killed 9, and injured 18 on Saturday.
All the injured in the two explosions had been hospitalized and doctors said they were in a critical condition. The causes of the blasts are still unknown.
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