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Home >> China
UPDATED: 19:26, November 29, 2006
Mine bosses jailed over colliery gas explosion that killed 166 in 2004
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Seven mine bosses held responsible for two fatal coal mine gas explosions that killed 249 miners in northwest China's Shaanxi Province and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region were sentenced to prison on Wednesday.

The court rulings coincided with another a coal mine gas blast in northwest China's Gansu Province, which claimed at least 11 lives.

More than one hundred miners have been killed in accidents in various parts of China during the recent five days, according to reports.

Liu Shuangming, former director of the Chenjiashan Coal Mine in Tongchuan City, Shaanxi, was sentenced to five years and six months and Wang Youjun, former deputy director and chief engineer of the mine, received five years over a gas explosion in 2004 with 166 deaths.

Yaozhou District People's Court of Tongchuan City heard that Liu and Wang had asked the miners to work despite being aware of the risks to their lives.

The tragedy happened on Nov. 28, 2004 at the Chenjiashan Coal Mine in Tongchuan City. A total of 293 miners were working underground when the deadly blast occurred.

Only 127 miners who were working near the entrance were rescued, including 45 who were injured in the blast.

The accident caused a direct economic loss of nearly 42 million yuan (5.2 million U.S. dollars).

Liu and Wang were blamed for the accident and arrested on Dec. 9,