Bai Wenjie, head of the Coal Industry Bureau of Huangling County, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, who is suspected of bearing leadership responsibility for a recent fatal coal mine gas blast in his county, was suspended from work as of Saturday.
Up to now, altogether four local officials have been suspended from work for the Qifenggouxi Coal Mine gas blast in Huangling County, killing 12 miners, said information from Huangling County Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
A circular issued by the Organizational Department of the Huangling CPC County Committee says that as the leader of the County Coal Industry Bureau, Bai had unshirkable leadership responsibility for the major gas blast and Bai's suspension from work was decided on Friday night at a meeting of the standing committee members of the Huangling CPC County Committee.
The gas blast occurred last Thursday at the Qifenggouxi Coal Mine, leaving 12 dead and two injured. But the accident was covered up until Sunday, when the accident was reported in the media.
Three other officials, Li Fengtao, deputy head of Huangling County Coal Industry Bureau, Xu Wenlong, head of Huangling County Station for Coal Mine Safety Inspection, and Zong Mingxue, deputy head of Cangcun Township Government, who were sent to spot the accident on the same day when it happened but failed to do so, were on Tuesday also suspended from work for failing to performing their duties.
The coal mine gas explosion is under tense investigation.
(Xinhua News Agency September 25, 2005)