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Officials, managers punished for accidents that killed 201
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A total of 42 people held accountable for two separate fatal accidents in Shandong Province last August have been punished, said local sources.

Of these 26 were held responsible for a serious flood at one coal mine of Huayuan Coal Mining Co. Ltd and Minggong mine, another small pit in the vicinity, on Aug.17, 2007, which claimed the lives of 181 miners, said a press release from Shandong Provincial Government.

The flooding of the two coal mines was triggered by a chain of natural events started by torrential rains, but the accident also exposed the fact there were noticeable problems with local governments, related departments and enterprises toward preventing key disasters caused by extreme weather and toward preventing and controlling accidents at workplaces, the press release quoted a conclusion given by a special investigative group over the flooding as saying.

Six of this group of people, including chairman of the board of Huayuan company and chief of Minggong coal mine, have been transferred to judicial departments which will in turn investigate their criminal responsibilities in the fatal accident.

Twenty others, including eight government officials who were responsible for leadership, were given demerit according to the disciplines of the Party or of the government, according to the press release.

In the wake of a further tragic accident, 19 people were held responsible for a molten aluminium spill at an aluminium plant affiliated to the Weiqiao Pioneering Group Co., Ltd. based in Zouping in the province, killing 20 people.

The spill, on Aug. 19, 2007, was said by the special investigative group to be a case of responsibility accident.

Two of the 19 responsible persons have been transferred to judicial departments for legal action. Three others who might also face investigation of criminal responsibilities but were killed in the molten spill were exempted of criminal responsibility investigation, according to the press release.

And 14 more people who were held responsible for the accident, including four government officials, have been given disciplinary sanctions within the Communist Party or disciplined by the local government.

(Xinhua News Agency February 5, 2008)


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