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Party secretary named

SHANXI Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China appointed Xie Hai as Party secretary of Linfen on Wednesday, a city that has become notorious because of a host of deadly accidents including a fatal mud and rock slide that killed 254 people last year.

Xie's appointment ended a half-year vacancy that began when Xia Zhengui, Xie's predecessor, was suspended following investigations into the causes of the landslide.

The tragedy occurred on the morning of September 8 when the bank of a pond holding dregs from waste ore burst at the Tashan Mine in Xiangfen County, Linfen City.

The mud, mixed with fragments of ore, slid down the mountainside, destroying buildings, markets and residences.

This accident also led to the resignation of Meng Xuenong, the governor of Shanxi Province, who quit six days after the incident, and the dismissal of Zhang Jianmin, vice governor of Shanxi.

On December 5, 2007, a fatal gas explosion occurred in Linfen City at Xinyao Coal Mine, in Hongtong County.

The blast occurred when 128 miners were working in the shaft - a violation of the 60-miner per shift maximum approved by the Shanxi coal mine authority. The explosion killed 105 miners and injured 18 others.

Before Wednesday's appointment, Xie Hai served as the Party chief of Yangquan, another city in Shanxi.


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