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Improper stockpiling and use of explosives triggered a major explosion in a gold mine in Eastern China, which killed 10 people last Month (Feb 23).

The ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper said that a total of 45 people have been punished in Qixia, Shandong province in different cases, including possible criminal punishment.

The exploded Jan 10 released 70 tons of waste that blocked the shaft, disabled lifts and trapped 22 workers underground, causing a two-week rescue effort, which eventually brought a parallel shaft of 11 survivors to the surface. There’s still one person missing.

28 public officials and 15 officials from the blasting, construction and mining enterprises involved in the mine’s operational activities are among those facing punishment. Both Shandong Wucailong Investment Co Ltd and the City Government of Qixia withheld more than 24 hours of news of the accident to evade sanctions.

More than 68 million yuan (US$ 10.5 million), the direct economic losses from the accident were listed.

For the Chinese mining industry, which has averaged 5 000 deaths annually, the long and expensive rescue effort is uncommon.

Increased supervision has increased safety, although there is continued prompt corner cutting demand for coal and precious metals. After two incidents in South West Chongqing, 39 mine owners were killed last year, a further crackdown was ordered.



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