BEIJING Dec 9 Ten people were detained in China
on Friday in connection with a coal mine disaster that killed 32
people last week, state media reported.
Qiu Zetian, chairman of Baoma Coal Supplies Co. Ltd, the
company that operated the mine, along with nine others were
detained on suspicion of illegal mining and negligence, the
Xinhua agency said.
Investigations were going on into the blast that originally
trapped 181 people underground in a small mine in Inner
Mongolia, a region of China near Mongolia, it said.
Authorities had warned the company against the use of
excessive extraction techniques in March but it had failed to
change its practice, Xinhua said without citing sources for the
The blast came shortly after a coal mine accident in
Heilongjiang province killed 21 people.
The government has recently told miners to step up
production to ease high coal prices and meet winter demand.
Coal accounts for almost two-thirds of China's energy
consumption, but its mines are among the world's deadliest, due
to lax enforcement of safety standards.
The government has ordered all coal mines to conduct safety
overhauls, the deputy director of a work safety watchdog said on
The rate of accidents has alarmed regulators over the past
month. Thirty-three people died in a gas explosion at a coal
mine in the southwestern city of Chongqing on Oct. 31.
(Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Robert Birsel)