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Two officials dismissed after China mine flood

(Xinhua)

13:25, May 03, 2012

HEGANG, Heilongjiang, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Two officials who are being held responsible for a coal mine flood that left nine people dead and five others missing in northeast China's Heilongjiang province have been removed from their posts, authorities said Thursday.

Sun Qiang, the deputy head of the Xing'an district of the city of Hegang who was responsible for work safety in the district, was removed from office after Wednesday's flood, according to the Hegang municipal committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Also dismissed was Lu Shouxiang, director of the district's coal mine safety supervision bureau.

The two officials will be dealt with after a thorough investigation, the committee said.

Nine people have been confirmed dead and five others remain trapped following a flood that occurred in a mine shaft in the Junyuan No. 2 Coal Mine in the Xing'an district of Hegang, rescuers said early Thursday.

A total of 28 miners were working in the pit when floodwaters inundated the shaft at about 7 a.m. Wednesday. Fourteen of the miners were saved by 11 p.m.

More than 80 rescuers are making all-out efforts to search for the five trapped miners.

The coal mine is licensed, according to the Hegang city government.

The cause of the accident is being investigated.

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