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Four officials jailed over deadly colliery flood in C. China

(Xinhua)

10:28, February 26, 2012

CHANGSHA, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Four officials have been sentenced to three to 13 years in jail for a coal mine flooding that killed 13 last June in central China's Hunan province, a local court said on Saturday.

The deadly accident happened at the privately-run Duxing Coal Mine in Sandu township in Leiyang city on June 20.

Kuang Laojian, former Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of Sandu township, was sentenced to 13 years in jail for dereliction of duty, abuse of power, taking bribes and corruption, according to the verdict by the people's court in Yongxing county.

Tao Guosheng, former head of Sandu township, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for dereliction of duty and abuse of power, the verdict said.

The court said Kuang and Tao did not report to the local government immediately after the accident and later lied about the death toll, which delayed the rescue work and investigation.

Another two township officials, Deng Zhijian and Sun Yanshu, each received jail terms of three years for dereliction of duty and corruption, the court said.

The coal mine was operating illegally for a long term. Though the four officials were aware of the safety risks in the mine, they did not take measures to halt its operation, the court said.

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