China suspends eight officials for deadly mine accident: report

SHANGHAI Sun Dec 9, 2012 10:13pm EST

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China suspended eight officials and arrested two others over a coal mine accident this week that killed 17 people in southwest China's Yunnan province, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

The eight suspended officials include Fuyuan county's coal industry bureau chief and the bureau's deputy director, Xinhua said, quoting Fuyuan's publicity office.

China's mines are the deadliest in the world because of lax enforcement of safety standards and a rush to feed demand from a robust economy. But the death toll from accidents has been falling, government statistics show.

On Wednesday, 17 miners were killed when an explosive device was set off, triggering a blast in the gas-filled mine located in the Huangnihe township in Fuyuan.

Police have arrested two people over the mine blast. The families of the 17 dead will receive compensation of 990,000 yuan ($158,900), Xinhua said.

In August, a similar mine explosion in Sichuan province killed 26 miners, marking it as one of the biggest coal mine disasters of the year.

($1 = 6.2301 Chinese yuan)

(This story corrects the spelling of the township in the fourth paragraph to Huangnihe, not Huangheni; and removes duplicated word in headline)

(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Paul Tait)

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