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Coal mine owner detained for gas blast that killed 105
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14:51, December 16, 2007

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Local police of north China's Shanxi Province has caught the owner of the coal mine responsible for a coal mine explosion that killed 105 miners and injured 18 others.

The gas explosion occurred at 11:15 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Xinyao Coal Mine of the company, which is located in Hongtong County, Linfen City, when 128 miners were working in the shaft, far more than the maximum of 60 miners for one shift as approved by Shanxi coal mine authority.

Local police sources said they found and detained Wang Donghai,owner of Xinyao coal mine on Saturday, who went into hiding after the blast occurred.

The legal representative Wang Hongliang of Ruizhiyuan Coal Mining Co. Ltd, which exercised management over the coal mine, wasalso caught in Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi Province, on Friday.

It is said that the colliery managers delayed reporting the accident to local authorities while sending another 37 workers down to the shaft for rescue operations.

Police have detained 35 people alleged to be linked to the accident. The two Wangs went into hiding after the accident, causing difficulties for rescue operation.

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security issued a B-class warrant for the two men.

The accident is believed to be the nation's second deadliest mining accident so far this year. In August, 181 miners died when heavy rains flooded two mines in eastern Shandong Province.

Source: Xinhua

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