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Eight officials suspended over mine accident in south China

(Xinhua)

10:54, December 08, 2012

KUNMING, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Eight local officials have been suspended from duty after a coal mine accident on Wednesday that killed 17 people in southwest China's Yunnan province, local authorities said Friday.

The eight include the coal industry bureau chief in Fuyuan County, where the accident took place, the bureau's deputy director and the county's work safety chief, according to the county's publicity office.

As of 5 p.m. Friday, families of the 17 victims had reached compensation agreements with the coal mine. Each family of the victims will be paid 990,000 yuan (158,992 U.S. dollars), it said.

A total of 66 miners were working underground when a gas blast occurred around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday in the Shangchang Coal Mine in Huangheni township of Fuyuan county.

Sixteen miners were killed on the spot and one died on the way to the hospital. Six of the 49 miners who survived the accident were injured and are receiving treatment in a local hospital.

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