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Accidents in mines covered up in July

By Zhi Yun (China Daily)

08:14, August 08, 2012

Four coal mine accidents in July, three of them fatal, were covered up, a State report released on Tuesday said.

The State Administration of Work Safety report on Tuesday said that on July 4, flooding at the Qielichong Coal Mine in Leiyang, Hunan province, trapped 16 miners. The owner concealed the accident and fled, delaying the rescue for 12 hours. Eight people died.

Thirteen days later, a gas blast that killed three people at Puxijing Coal Mine in Chenzhou, also in Hunan, went unreported.

On July 25, a shaft collapse at Anlilai Coal Mine in Pu'an county, Guizhou province, trapped five miners. Bosses failed to report the accident to authorities and attempted to organize a rescue on their own, but a second collapse then trapped 53 rescuers.

Victims of both collapses were saved after local residents called emergency services, the report said.

On July 26, a gas explosion at a coal mine in Yangquan, Shanxi province, killed seven miners and injured 30 others. The owner concealed the accident and, after being reported by residents, still withheld the number of casualties.

Wu Yanyun, deputy director of the administration's policy and regulations department, said the punishment of offenders in the accidents is unknown, but they will receive maximum penalties.

According to the Criminal Law, anyone who conceals an industrial accident gets a three-year sentence. Those involved in accidents under "serious circumstances" get up to seven years in prison.

So far this year, six coal mine accidents that killed 46 people were concealed, information from the administration indicates.

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