People responsible for 30-hour delay in reporting Shandong goldmine explosion to be severely punished
Published: Jan 13, 2021 10:38 PM

Rescuers work at the site of the goldmine explosion in Yantai, East China's Proince, on Tuesday. Photo: China National Radio

People who are responsible for the 30-hour delay in reporting an East China goldmine explosion, which led to 22 people being trapped, have been detained and will be dealt with seriously, local authorities said Wednesday.

The news came one day after the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) implemented a new regulation on the reporting, investigation and disposition of major work safety accidents.

The goldmine explosion in Qixia, Yantai of Shandong Province took place on Sunday afternoon, which trapped 22 miners underground. However, it was not reported to local authorities until Monday night, with a 30-hour delay. A large-scale rescue is still being carried out, but frontline rescuers said it will be extremely difficult to bring out any of the miners. 

"The company's disregard for life is the enemy of the people," wrote the Xinhua News Agency, commenting on the incident, "which the state law will not allow."

A local resident in Yantai surnamed Liu told the Global Times that"Upon hearing of the accident, many people from other mines around the area volunteered to go to the site and join in the rescue," but none of the trapped miners had been rescued in the 72 hours since the explosion. 

Nine major rescue teams with more than 320 members and over 70 sets of machinery and equipment at the scene have been working day and night since Monday. The Shandong government has summoned rescue forces from all around China, but as of Wednesday afternoon, no signal had been received from those trapped in the shaft.

Rescue teams on the scene have completed the venting of toxic gases. Experts present at the scene said the platform where the miners were trapped was far enough away from the explosion that the air was not dangerous and had conditions necessary for survival.

"But the rescue has been made extremely difficult due to the late report, which took up the golden rescue time," said the frontline rescuers.

China's law clearly regulates that the person in charge of the accident unit shall report accident information to the local government within one hour after receiving the on-site report. China also has severe penalties for late reporting and concealment of accidents.

The latest CCDI provision puts forward specific requirements on the CCDI to bear the review and investigation of the responsibility of major work safety accident, according to the CCDI website.

This new rule aims to ensure quick and accurate accountability of investigations after major production and safety incidents, and helps build a safer China.

Under the guidance of the new regulation, the investigation and pursuit of responsibility for the cause of the goldmine explosion is accelerating, local officials said at a news conference on Wednesday.

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