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UPDATED: 11:00, May 15, 2004
3 officials prosecuted for deadly coal mine flooding
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Three officials were prosecuted for accident due to dereliction of duty in a fatal coal mine flooding in which 22 miners had been trapped, with one dead, according to People's Procuratorate of Zichuan District of Zibo City in Shangdong Province.

The procuratorate gave only surnames of the three defendants: Yang, Sun and Wang who were responsible for the production and technical affairs of the coal mine, situated in Kunlun Township, Zichuan District of Zibo City, east China' Shandong province.

The flooding happened on Nov. 14, 2003, in one of the coal mine's shafts. The officials were charged not to follow a government order to close the unsafe shaft and illegally run it without special flooding control and prevention equipment.

After the accident occurred, the officials did not immediately report to the authorities and therefore delayed the best time for rescue operation, leading one miner's death because of suffering long-time anoxia and causing a total economic loss of 670,000 yuan(81,000 US dollars), according to the procuratorate.

Source: Xinhua

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