Miners gunned down before mine blast in SW China

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, November 22, 2010
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Some of the nine miners previously thought to have died in a shed explosion last week in southwest China's Yunnan Province, were killed by gun shots, local police said Monday.

A shed of Xiaosongdi Coal Mine exploded after explosives in it were detonated at 9 a.m. last Thursday when Zheng Chunyun, boss of nearby Yuejing Coal Mine, arrived with more than 80 people armed with knives and steel bars.

Nine people were killed and 48 others injured in the incident, most of them were with Zheng.

"Autopsies show some of them were gunned down before the blast," said Lu Qingwei, head of the public security of Luxi County, where the mine is located.

But Lu declined to give more details about the case. Investigations are underway and the results may be announced Tuesday, Lu said.

The blast was deliberately triggered, according to a police statement last Friday.

The police have detained Wang Jianfu, boss of Xiaosongdi Coal Mine, Zheng Chunyun and eight other suspects, Lu said.

Both Wang and Zheng's companies were mining the same deposit of coal and a dispute had arisen over their share of it. Both companies have an annual production capacity of 90,000 tonnes, according to previous investigations.

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