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No chance of survival for 11 missing in colliery blasts: experts


08:01, April 08, 2013

BAISHAN, Jilin Province, April 7 (Xinhua) -- There is no chance of survival for 11 people who have been reported missing in two coal mine blasts in northeast China's Jilin Province, experts with the investigation team said Sunday.

So far, a total of 42 deaths have been reported in two blasts at the Babao Coal Mine in Baishan City, which belongs to the Tonghua Mining Group.

Seven more deaths were reported by local authorities on Saturday, bringing the death toll from a gas explosion in the mine on March 29 to 36 and arousing suspicion of a death toll cover-up.

Another explosion in the same mine on Monday killed six people and injured four others. Another 11 people remain missing.

The State Council, China's cabinet, will launch a full investigation into the blasts, the country's work safety watchdog announced Sunday.

The investigation will determine who, if anyone, tried to conceal the death toll, the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) said, adding that those responsible for the blasts will be brought to justice.

Yang Dongliang, head of the SAWS, will lead the investigation team.

Meanwhile, the provincial government has dispatched more personnel to Baishan City to help with the investigation.

Seven principals, including the chairman of Tonghua's parent company, the Jilin Province Coal Industry Group, have either been taken into custody by local police or placed under investigation.

With an annual production capacity of 3 million tonnes, Babao Coal Mine is a state-owned colliery that employs more than 3,500 workers. Total investment in the mine stands at 1.8 billion yuan (286 million U.S. dollars).

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