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Party chief of SW China county probed for deadly mine accident

(Xinhua)

10:18, January 18, 2012

KUNMING, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- The former Communist Party chief of a southwestern Chinese county has been under investigation for alleged corruption after a coal mine gas leak killed 43 people, local authorities said Tuesday.

The gas leak occurred at the Sizhuang Coal Mine in Shizong County, Yunnan Province on Nov. 10 last year, trapping 43 miners underground. Thirty-five bodies were retrieved, and the other eight miners remained trapped.

An investigation into the fatal accident found that Wang Jianzhong, then-Party chief of Shizong county, had "alleged violations of discipline and laws" in his contact with the owner of the Sizhuang Coal Mine, the Communist Party Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a statement.

The commission gave no further details of the alleged corruption.

Four managers of the Sizhuang Coal Mine have been detained, and four county coal mine safety officials are under investigation over dereliction of duty.

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