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Beleaguered official faces netizens online

By WANG HUAZHONG (China Daily)

13:18, August 31, 2012

A senior work safety official's grin at the site of a deadly traffic accident in Shaanxi province has become a nightmare haunting him.

Yang Dacai, 55, head of the Shaanxi Provincial Bureau of Work Safety, was seen to be grinning in a photo taken after he arrived at the scene of a deadly traffic accident on Sunday in Yan’an, Shaanxi. Thirty-six people were killed when a sleeper bus rammed into a truck carrying a tank of methanol and caught fire.

The photo triggered an online wave of criticism among netizens.

The criticism grew louder when photos of Yang wearing five different watches, including Rolex, Mont Blanc and Radar, were posted online.

Many bloggers questioned how he could afford the costly timepieces and called for a corruption investigation.

On Wednesday night, Yang went online and apologized for the "relaxed" grin, saying that he was just trying to cheer people up after a long trudge to the accident site.

And he defended his innocence regarding the watches, saying he had "used legal income" to buy them over the past 10 years and he had reported the situation to the Party’s disciplinary organization.

Despite this, the Party Discipline Inspection Commission of Shaanxi has started an investigation on Yang, who would be punished if he is found to have violated disciplines or committed corruption,, an online news portal of Shaanxi, reported on Thursday.

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