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Fake certificate used in fatal blast cover-up

[ 2011-05-05 11:17]     字号 [] [] []  
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A coal mine owner who allegedly covered up a deadly mine blast in Northeast China has reportedly confessed that an illegally-acquired cremation certificate was used to conceal the cause of the miners' deaths.

An unidentified local police officer allegedly provided Gao Zhenhe, the mine owner, with a blank certificate bearing the seal of the forensic science and technology department of the local public security bureau to help him have the miners' bodies cremated without stating the real cause of their deaths, Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday, quoting a member of the team investigating the accident.

Nine miners were killed in a gas explosion at the privately run Guifa coal mine in Didao district, Jixi city, Heilongjiang province, on April 26.

The cremation certificate had been obtained from a local police officer, Gao said, after turning himself in to the local police on Sunday.

The cover-up was discovered on April 30 when investigators, acting on rumors of an accident at the mine, discovered a hidden tunnel where miners had been working when the gas blast occurred. Before the accident, the mine had been ordered to stop operations because its production license had expired.

Gao had allegedly paid the miners' families hush money. He paid Liu Guojun, the younger brother of Liu Guoshan who was killed in the accident, 1 million yuan ($154,000) at a crematorium to prevent the family from informing local authorities, said a statement published on the official website of the Jixi government.

But Gao failed to reach a similar deal with the family of another dead miner, whose body had not been recovered.

"Rescuers are trying to recover the body of the last miner trapped underground," said Hou Yuxi, a senior official with the Heilongjiang Administration of Coal Mine Safety.


1. How many miners were killed?

2. When did the explosion happen?

3. How much was paid to Lui Guojun?


1. nine

2. April 26

3. 1 million yuan


(中国日报网英语点津 Julie 编辑)

Fake certificate used in fatal blast cover-up

About the broadcaster:

Fake certificate used in fatal blast cover-up

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.