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3 officials detained for fatal landslide in N China
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Three county officials of Xiangfen county in north China's Shanxi Province, where 267 people were killed in a massive landslide, were detained for power abuse and dereliction, confirmed local authorities on Wednesday.

The officials are Kang Haiyin, former Party secretary of Xiangfen county, Li Xuejun, the county chief, and Han Baoquan, the vice chief.

The trio, who had conducted an on-the-spot investigation after the fatal accident, were suspected of mis-reporting the cause at the knowledge that there was no rain on the day at all.

They were also suspected of under-reporting the death toll.

An unlicensed iron ore dregs retaining pond in Xiangfen burst on Sept. 8, discharging a huge torrent of tailings, mud and rock that devastated a downstream village, an office building and a busy outdoor market.

An initial investigation found the collapse was due to negligence. The tailings dumping pond was built in violation of regulations and had few safety inspections.

(Xinhua News Agency September 25, 2008)

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