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Fatal mine blast: Officials face probe

THREE officials have been detained and another two removed from their posts after a gas blast at a colliery in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality killed 30 miners yesterday morning.

The three detained were identified as the project manager, the chief engineer and the owner of the Tonghua Cola Mine, the China News Service quoted the China central television as reporting.

The two removed from their posts were the vice general manager of work safety with Songzao C&E Co Ltd and the vice general manager of Chongqing Chuanjiu Construction Co Ltd.

The accident happened at 11am at the Tonghua Coal Mine in Anwen Town, Qijiang County, when 131 miners were working underground.

It killed 30 miners. Of the 101 miners rescued, 77 were injured, and 17 of these were in a serious condition.

Most of the injured are now stable and being treated at Chongqing's Qijiang County People's Hospital. Two are in the intensive care unit.

The 30 dead have all been identified, local media said.

Chongqing prosecutors are investigating the cause of the accident.

The Tonghua Coal Mine is more than 50 years old and is affiliated to the state-owned Songzao Mining Bureau of Chongqing. The colliery's production capacity was 300,000 tonnes per year, which has now been expanded to 600,000 tonnes.


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