Mine owners hide 6 deaths

BEIJING – A government investigation found managers of a coal mine in central China concealed the death of six miners from gas poisoning, the official Xinhua News Agency said on Saturday. The privately owned mine reported to authorities only one of seven deaths caused on May 2 after carbon monoxide leaked into a shaft where 69 miners were working, Xinhua said.

Managers reported the death of one miner who died at the scene, but failed to report the deaths of five who died on the way to hospitals and another who died in a hospital, it said.

The manager of the mine in Dengfeng, Henan province, has been detained, along with four other production and management directors, it said.

The government discovered the deaths after public reports of a cover-up, Xinhua said.

China’s mining industry remains the world’s deadliest, despite government promises to improve mining safety.

Large, state-run mines tend to have safety records approaching those of developed countries, while smaller, private mines have little or no safety equipment and weak worker training.

The Xinfeng Coal Mine was licensed and belonged to Guangxian Industrial and Trading Co, Xinhua said.

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