County officials sacked after mine flood

Updated: 2011-08-25 13:10


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HARBIN - Two county officials have been fired after a local flooded coal mine trapped 26 miners Tuesday in Heilongjiang province, said local officials Thursday.

Wang Xingwu, government head of Boli county where the mine is located, and deputy county chief Zhang Xuegang were dismissed at an emergency meeting held by the local committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Wednesday afternoon.

The Boli county committee of the CPC were also advised to dismiss Deng Xiaoqiu, head of the county's work safety bureau.

The flooding occurred midday Tuesday, when 45 miners were working in a pit of the Hengtai Coal Mining Co. Nineteen miners managed to escape.

Rescuers believe the miners may trapped in one of four places, but efforts to drain water from the mine could take another few days.

The provincial government ordered the mine to stop production in 2007. Without permission, however, the owner restarted production on August 16, according to the work safety bureau.

The accident happened after workers mistakenly drilled into a neighboring mine.