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Monday, May 8, 2017, 15:25

18 killed in China coal mine accident, six officials sacked

By Xinhua

18 killed in China coal mine accident, six officials sacked
A miner was rescued from a mining shaft in central China's Hunan province, May 8, 2017. (Photo/Xinhua)

CHANGSHA - Six officials, including a deputy county chief, were sacked Monday after 18 miners died in a poisonous gas leak in a coal mine in central China's Hunan Province.

Rescuers confirmed the death toll Monday, after saving another 37 miners.

The accident happened around 11 a.m. Sunday at the Jilinqiao Colliery in Youxian County.

Cai Yongheng, rescue team director, said rescuers had to carry oxygen tanks during the search.

Investigators are testing the makeup of the poisonous gas. Police have detained those allegedly responsible for the accident.

A miner who declined to be named said that after the mine manager was informed of the gas leak, he asked workers to enter the mine to rescue their colleagues. Some of the rescue team, including the manager himself, were among those killed.

Another employee said a discontinued mine near the Jilinqiao Colliery had been discharging chemical waste gas, which may have triggered the fatal gas leak.

Local authorities Monday placed responsibility for the accident on six officials, including the deputy county chief Wang Zhuowen, who were removed from their posts.

18 killed in China coal mine accident, six officials sacked
A coal mine accident that happened on May 8, 2017 in central China's Hunan province has killed 18 people. (Photo/Xinhua)

18 killed in China coal mine accident, six officials sacked
A coal mine accident that happened on May 8, 2017 in central China's Hunan province has killed 18 people. (Photo/Xinhua)
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