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Three sentenced to life in prison for coal mine explosion in PRC

Three sentenced to life in prison for coal mine explosion in PRC

A Chinese court sentenced three people to life in prison in connection with a coal mine explosion last year that killed 105, a state news agency reported.
Fourteen others also received prison terms for their roles in the December blast in northern China's Shanxi province, the Xinhua News Agency said late Sunday.
The explosion was triggered by an accumulation of gas in an unventilated tunnel. It was the second deadliest mining accident in China in 2007.
Legal representative Wang Hongliang, investor Wang Donghai and production manager Kong Huiping were given life terms, Xinhua reported, citing the ruling of a public trial in Linfen City.
Colliery manager Gao Jianmin and vice manager Qin Sanshun were jailed for up to 20 years, the agency said.
The mining company was fined 185 million yuan (US$26 million) for illegal trade of explosives, illegal mining work and tax evasion. The Xinhua story did not elaborate further on the charges.
More than 128 miners were reportedly working in the Ruizhiyuan shaft at the time of the gas explosion, well beyond the authorized limit of 60 - a regular practice stemming from huge demand and high prices for coal. Managers also delayed announcing the accident for five hours.
China's coal mines averaged 10 deaths a day last year from fires, explosions and floods, making them the world's deadliest. In August, 181 miners died when heavy rains flooded two mines in eastern Shandong province.
Disregard for basic safety measures and failure to invest in required ventilation, fire control and other health and safety equipment were the leading causes of such accidents.
Many mine operators are motivated to cut corners in pursuit of production bonuses, egged on by the sizzling economy's voracious appetite for coal to generate electricity.


Updated : 2020-12-05 19:24 GMT+08:00