9 dead, 4 injured in SW China coal mine gas blas
Xinhua – China
March 21, 2009
BEIJING — Nine people were killed and four others injured after a gas blast in a coal mine in southwest China’s Guizhou Province, a local official said Friday. The gas explosion occurred in a private illegal coal mine in Dongfeng Township, Weining County, at about 4 p.m. Thursday, said Wu Xuejun, the county head. Local police are hunting the coal mine owner. The injured were taken to hospital, where they were described as in stable condition. Several officials in the township, including the party chief, the town head and the vice town head who is in charge of the safety work, were removed from their posts after the explosion. Rampant illegal mining in the county, about 300 km from the provincial capital of Guiyang, has claimed the lives of many workers in recent years. Another gas fire killed 14 workers in a colliery on May 2, 2006, forcing the then county head to resign.