Death toll from the colliery gas blast in north China's Shanxi Province rose to 23 as rescuers
recovered four more miners' body on Saturday afternoon.
The rest 24 trapped miners likely do not survive due to the high
intensity of toxic gas and serious tunnel cave-in, according to the
local rescue headquarters.
The State Council set up a task force on Friday to investigate
the cause of the coal mine blast, which occurred at 11:45 AM on
Sunday in the Jiaojiazhai Coal Mine of Xuangang Company under
Datong Coal Mine Group in Xinzhou, a central-north city of Shanxi
Headed by Li Yizhong, director of the State Administration of
Work Safety (SAWS), the investigation group will also try to find
if any people is accountable for the accident.
Though the direct cause of the blast is still under
investigation, the task force sent by the State Council blamed it
"to be rooted from production safety ignorance and a chaotic
management of the mine owner."
Li said he was "shocked to see the long-existing serious hidden
dangers in the mine and the miners' habitual ignorance of the
The official vowed to severely punish the related individuals
and companies and urged all coal mine owners in China draw a lesson
from the accident.
(Xinhua News Agency November 12, 2006)