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Home >> China
UPDATED: 08:27, December 26, 2005
Officials punished for fatal coal mine accidents
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More than 100 local officials were punished over the weekend for their responsibilities relating to four coal mine accidents that killed 257 miners in Guangdong and Shanxi Provinces.

Twenty-two officials were given punishment for responsibilities in a coal mine flooding accident in Guangong Province's Xingning city that caused the death of 123 miners on August 7, according to a notice released by the Guangdong Provincial Commission for Inspecting Discipline of the Communist Party of China and the Provincial Department of Supervision on Saturday.

Another 41 persons will be further investigated for being involved in related crimes, said an official with the provincial government who declined to be named.

In China's leading coal producer Shanxi Province, 86 officials were either removed from their positions or given administrative penalties for the major disasters in Shuozhou, Yangquan and Jiaocheng, where a total of 134 miners were killed in three blasts in 2004 and this year, China News Service reported yesterday.

Of the punished, 19 have been handed to judicial organizations for criminal prosecutions.

"It has sounded the alarm again for relevant departments and officials to pay special heeds on safety production in the following years," said the Guangdong official.

On Friday, the central government decided to "record a demerit" for Gong Deshun, former vice-government of Shanxi, for his responsibility in a coal mine gas blast that killed 166 mines in 2004. You Ningfeng, vice-governor of Guangdong was given "a severe demerit" for his responsibility of the Xingning accident.

Another four high officials in Guangdong also received punishment for the coal mine accident.

Chen Jianhui, director-general of Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Work Safety, and Lu Guosheng, deputy director of Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Land and National Resources, were given the most serious disciplinary sanction and a serious warning within the Communist Party of China.

The Guangdong provincial government decided that He Zhengba, deputy Party secretary and mayor of Meizhou, be reduced to a lower rank of administration and be given a serious warning within the Party. Xingning was under the administrative jurisdiction of Meizhou city.

Cai Xiaoju, executive vice-mayor of Meizhou, was removed from his post. Cai will also be transferred to the procuratorate department to further investigate his responsibility for crimes.

Source: China Daily

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