China punishes 34 officials over mine accident

Beijing, June 10 (IANS) As many as 34 government officials from the cities of Luzhou and Leshan in China’s Sichuan province, have been punished in connection with a fatal mine accident and illegal operation of another mine, authorities said.

A total of 29 officials have been punished over a gas explosion in Taozigou coal mine in Luxian County, Luzhou City that killed 28 people May 11, reported Xinhua citing a televised meeting by the provincial work safety administration.

They included Liu Qiang, mayor of Luzhou City and Zhang Xianfu, deputy mayor of the city, who were both given a warning of their future behaviour. Ma Teng, deputy director of the city’s financing office and Pu Tao, deputy head of the Luxian county government, however, were sacked.

In another case, five officials were sacked or given disciplinary sanctions for the illegal operation of the Dabao coal mine in the Ebian Yi county, Leshan City.

Like Xingfu, head of the Ebian Yi county government, was suspended from work. A deputy head of the county government and head of the county’s work safety administration were sacked.

The mine defied the provincial government’s order asking all the mines in the province to halt production for risk analysis in early June.

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