Suspects detained in blast that killed 32 in Inner Mongolia
People suspected of being responsible for Saturday’s coal mine explosion that killed 32 people in Chifeng, in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, have been detained, according to authorities.
In addition, local officials in charge of work safety, as well as supervising officials at the state level responsible for the area, have been suspended from their duties and will be punished depending on the findings of an investigation into the incident, Yang Huanning, minister of the State Administration of Work Safety, said on Sunday.
Work-safety authorities at all levels must reflect deeply and take strong action to ensure the safety of coal mines, he said in an emergency videoconference on Sunday.
Yang urged intensified supervision and enforcement across China in coming months to rule out all potential risks. Local officials will also be held accountable if an incident has serious consequences, he said.
The gas explosion happened at about midday on Saturday at Baoma Mining Co.
There were 181 people working underground at the time of the incident. Of the workers, 149 managed to escape. The remains of the 32 who died were removed by Sunday.
It was the fourth mine explosion in recent months.
On Sept 28, a gas explosion at a mine in Shizuishan, Ningxia Hui autonomous region, killed 19 people and left one missing.
On Oct 31, a gas explosion at a mine in Chongqing’s Yongchuan district claimed the lives of 33 miners.
On Nov 29, an explosion killed 21 people and left one missing in Qitaihe, Heilong jiang province.
In addition, 74 workers were killed and three were injured after a working platform within a power plant’s unfinished cooling tower collapsed on Nov 24.
Rescuers remove dead bodies from a mine in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, on Sunday.