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Officials Sacked for Colliery Gas Blasts
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Two Chinese officials have been sacked after two gas explosions killed 34 miners within a week in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.

A gas explosion at Yuanhua Colliery in Hengshan District of Jixi City killed 26 miners on November 25. Six days later eight more miners were killed at Chengjin Colliery in the same district.

The head of Hengshan District, Jiang Min and a deputy head, Dong Enyi, were dismissed from their posts, according to the Jixi City Committee of the Communist Party of China.

Investigations showed both the mines had been ordered to halt production for safety checks but the mine owners violated the orders and were involved in illegal production.

Several managers and mine owners who bear partial or total responsibility for the blasts have disappeared. Officials from China's State Administration of Work Safety have arrived in Jixi for further investigations.

(Xinhua News Agency December 5, 2006)

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