Officials sacked after colliery blast kills 19 in SW China

23:04, March 12, 2011      

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A work safety bureau chief and a township head were removed from post Saturday after gas explosion at an illegal coal mine killed 19 workers and left 15 others injured in southwest China's Guizhou Province.

A blast ripped through the Xincheng Coal Mine in Songhe Township, Panxian County, Liupanshui City, at 0:30 a.m. Saturday when 34 miners were working underground, the county government said in a statement.

Two among the 15 injured workers suffered from severe burns, but were in stable condition, deputy township head Dai Rongguang said.

Chief of the county's work safety supervision bureau and head of the Songhe Township were sacked, said a spokesman with the county government's information office.

A deputy county head, who was in charge of work safety, resigned Saturday, said the spokesman.

The coal mine was shut down in 2008, but the owner Ying Huasi had resumed production without government permission, he said.

Ying was taken into police custody Saturday.

Source: Xinhua

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