LANZHOU, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- A total of 33 colliery staff and civil servants have been punished over a coverup of a coal mine flood that left four people dead in northwest China's Gansu Province in January, local authorities announced on Saturday.
Four people from the Jinyuan coal mine in Yugur Autonomous County of Sunan, Zhangye City, where the accident happened, will be subject to criminal prosecution, a Gansu provincial coal mine safety supervision bureau official said.
Another nine staff from the colliery were given administrative penalties, he added.
Twenty civil servants who were responsible for supervision were either sacked or given Party disciplinary sanctions, according to the official.
The mine and those responsible for the accident were fined 8.8 million yuan (1.4 million U.S. dollars).
The accident occurred on Jan. 3. Mine owners attempted to cover up the accident, but a whistle-blower tipped off work safety authorities on Jan. 9, leading to an investigation that confirmed the accident.
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