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Families of Dead Hebei Miners Compensated
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Compensation totaling 24.8 million yuan (US$3.1 million) has been given to all the families of the victims of a coalmine blast, which killed 108 miners and injured 29 others in Hebei Province over two months ago.

The money was paid by the management of the Liuguantun Colliery, according to the rescue operation headquarters on Tuesday.

The victims include the 91 miners found dead during the initial rescue operation and 17 whose bodies were never recovered.

The gas explosion happened at the Liuguantun Coal Mine in Kaiping District, Tangshan City, at about 3:30 PM on December 7. More than 100 miners were working at the time.

Among the injured, 23 have recovered and six are still in hospital.

Li Yizhong, director of the State Administration of Work Safety, said that the gas blast was an exceedingly grave accident. Li added that the coalmine was operating illegally.

He has promised to take "resolute measures" to deal with coalmine safety, which does not have a good track record in China, including enhancing supervision and standardizing coalmine resources.

(Xinhua News Agency February 15, 2006)

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