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Mine bosses jailed over coal mine accident that killed 28 in N. China
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08:06, July 04, 2007

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Three coal mine bosses held responsible for a gas explosion that killed 28 miners two months ago in north China's Shanxi Province were jailed on Tuesday.

Hao Yingjie, former owner of the Pudeng Coal Mine in Puxian County of Linfen City, was sentenced to 20 years. Two chief directors of the coal mine, Zhang Xiaodong and Wang Zhangxi, received life imprisonment and eight years respectively.

Another 14 suspects responsible for the accident also received jail sentences and the coal mine was fined 8.3 million yuan (1.09 million U.S. dollars).

The Intermediate People's Court of Linfen City ruled that the men were guilty of illegal mining, tax dodging and forcing miners to work despite being aware of the risks to their lives.

A lack of ventilation and high gas density resulted in the explosion that occurred on the afternoon of May 5. The accident killed 28 people and left 23 injured and two missing.

Ventilators and gas monitors had not been installed in the 70-meter-long tunnel. When the gas accumulated, a fire triggered the explosion.

The accident also caused a direct economic loss of 13.12 million yuan (1.72 million U.S. dollars).

The mine, with annual production capacity of less than 150,000 tons, had been ordered to stop production on April 29 for illegal mining and safety hazards, but operations continued.

Source: Xinhua

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