Thu, October 28, 2010
China > Mainland

Illegal operation blamed for mine flooding

2010-10-28 13:04:31 GMT2010-10-28 21:04:31 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

A worker stands outside the flooded Dapo coal mine in Machang Town of Puding County under Anshun City, southwest China's Guizhou Province, Oct. 28, 2010. The Dapo coal mine was flooded on Oct. 27, leaving 12 workers dead and another injured. (Xinhua/Liu Xu)

People stand outside the flooded Dapo coal mine in Machang Town of Puding County under Anshun City, southwest China's Guizhou Province, Oct. 28, 2010. The Dapo coal mine was flooded on Oct. 27, leaving 12 workers dead and another injured. (Xinhua/Liu Xu)

Photo taken on Oct. 28, 2010 shows the entrance to the flooded Dapo coal mine in Machang Town of Puding County under Anshun City, southwest China's Guizhou Province. The Dapo coal mine was flooded on Oct. 27, leaving 12 workers dead and another injured. (Xinhua/Liu Xu)

GUIYANG, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Officials on Thursday blamed illegal operation for the flooding of a coal mine in southwest China's Guizhou Province that left 12 people dead Wednesday morning.

Dapo Mine in Puding County, Anshun City, was operating illegally when the accident occurred. It had been ordered to suspend its operations on Aug. 20, according to a statement from the rescue headquarters.

"This is a typical accident caused by breaches of production regulations and coal mine safety procedures," said Sun Guoqiang, vice governor of Guizhou near the flooded mine.

In addition, one person was electrocuted to death in the mine on Sept. 2, about a month after the suspension order, according to the statement.

Owners of the mine did not immediately report the flooding as required. Instead, they tried to conceal the accident. The police learned about the accident only after receiving reports from mine workers Wednesday afternoon, it said.

The accident occurred at 7:40 a.m. when 50 miners were working in a shaft of the mine, which has an annual capacity of 90,000 tonnes.

Thirty-eight of the miners managed to escape, and one of them was injured.

The mine managers, who had been on the run after the accident, were apprehended Thursday morning, police said.

The direct cause of the flooding is under investigation.

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