2007-12-24 01:12:01 Xinhua English
TAIYUAN, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- Four safety officials have been jailed in connection with a coal mine flooding that killed nine workers in June, said a court in north China's coal-rich Shanxi Province.
Li Jiankang, former head of a four-member safety supervision team stationed at Yuanzigou coal mine in the small city of Hejin, was sentenced to six years in jail for helping the mine managers cover up the accident, which occurred on June 24, the People's Court in Wanrong County said in a press release on Monday.
Instead of reporting the accident to the local government, Li and his team held secret meetings with the mine managers and delayed rescue work and investigation.
The local government was not aware of the flooding until the victims' families lodged a complaint.
Five more people died in a gas explosion during the subsequent rescue operation.
Li and his team were detained in July for dereliction of duty and abuse of power.
The other three members of the safety team, Yang Yulong, Mao Junqiang and Wei Peiqin, received jail terms of five, four and three and a half years respectively, the court said.