February 25, 2008 in Nation/World

3 get life terms for roles in China mine deaths

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review
 

BEIJING – A Chinese court sentenced three people to life in prison in connection with a coal mine explosion last year that killed 105, a state news agency reported.

Fourteen others also received prison terms for their roles in the December blast in northern China’s Shanxi province, the Xinhua News Agency said late Sunday.

The explosion was triggered by an accumulation of gas in an unventilated tunnel. It was the second deadliest mining accident in China in 2007.

Legal representative Wang Hongliang, investor Wang Donghai and production manager Kong Huiping were given life terms, Xinhua reported, citing the ruling of a public trial in Linfen City.

The mining company was fined $26 million for illegal trade of explosives, illegal mining work and tax evasion.

More than 128 miners were reportedly working in the Ruizhiyuan shaft at the time of the gas explosion, well beyond the authorized limit of 60.

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