25 killed in SW China colliery accident

The death toll from a coal mine accident that occurred last week in southwest China’s Guizhou Province rose to 25 after the bodies of four missing miners were retrieved, local authorities said Monday.

An outburst of coal and gas at the Machang Coal Mine, which belongs to the Gemudi Company of the Guizhou Water & Mining Group, left 21 miners dead and another four buried last Tuesday.

Nearly 300 rescuers have participated in search and rescue work for the four missing miners, according to the rescue and relief headquarters.

The families of each of the deceased miners will be given 1.036 million yuan (166,648 U.S. dollars) in compensation, the highest compensation level for a mining accident, the headquarters said.

The mine reports an annual output of 450,000 tonnes, and most of the deceased miners were local people from Guizhou.

Deng Feng, head of the Machang Coal Mine, and the mine’s technical and security principals, Zhang Changhe and Liu Min, have been removed from their posts and are now in police custody.

Gao Liangyu, chairman and president of Gemudi, and Yu Zhiguo, the company’s vice president as well as the person responsible for safety in the coal mine, have been forced to resign.

Further investigation is underway.

Xinhua