Fatal Shandong Gold Mine Explosion Leads to Probe of 45 People
What’s new: Chinese authorities found 45 people accountable in a deadly gold mine explosion in eastern China’s Shandong province that killed 10, Caixin learned from the local government.
Police launched criminal investigations of the legal representative of Shandong Wucailong Investment Co. Ltd., operator of the gold mine, for alleged attempts to conceal the disaster. Two top officials of Qixia, where the mine is located, including municipal party chief Yao Xiuxia and Mayor Zhu Tao, are also being probed for failing to report the incident according to government rules.
An additional 14 managers and employees from companies involved in the mining projects also face investigations on criminal charges for their roles in causing the disaster.
The background: A Jan. 10 explosion at the Hushan gold mine in Qixia — administered by Yantai — caused an access tunnel to collapse, trapping 22 miners underground. After a two-week rescue effort, 11 miners were saved and 10 were found dead, while one remains missing.
Shandong authorities said investigations found that the catastrophe was caused by illegal storage of explosive materials and operational breaches. Shandong Wucailong and the Qixia government were also accused of delaying reports of the disaster.
The Qixia incident is one of several mining disasters in China in recent months, sparking fresh concerns over mining safety. China records hundreds of mining deaths every year, despite longstanding efforts to improve mine safety and crack down on shafts that do not meet official standards.
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Contact reporter Han Wei (firstname.lastname@example.org) and editor Bob Simison (email@example.com).
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