China mayor fired for coal mine disaster

China has effectively sacked the mayor of a northern city where a coal mine blast killed 105 people this month, state media said on Thursday.

China mayor fired for coal mine disaster
Li Liantai was removed from his Communist Party posts in Linfen city in the coAl rich province of Shanxi 'for failing in his duty to supervise mine work safety', the China Daily said.

The Shanxi provincial Communist Party committee had also suggested the local legislature in Linfen fire him as mayor, the English-language newspaper said.

The dismissal of Li, who has apologised to the public and said he was willing to accept any punishment for the accident, will be a formality as China's rubber-stamp legislatures almost never vetoes Communist Party decrees.

Police have arrested 13 people since the gas blast at the village-run Xinyao mine on Dec. 5, including the colliery's owner and managers who illegally sent a dangerously large number of workers to mine an unauthorised coal seam.

They also delayed reporting the accident and launched their own rescue work instead, increasing casualties by the dozen as some of the rescuers never resurfaced, Chinese media said.

China has the world's deadliest coal mining industry with fatal accidents almost on a daily basis, as mine owners push production beyond safety limits in the face of soaring profits.

The central government has taken pains to clean up the sector and has tried to boost official accountability, but 3,069 coal miners died in the first 10 months of 2007.

Li's punishment is harsh given only lowly officials have been sacked for deadly mining accidents in the past, but Linfen was also at the centre of a slavery and child labour scandal involving scorching brickworks earlier this year.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Aralık 2007, 10:49