China detain mine owner over deadly blast
BEIJING (AP) — Authorities have detained a coal mine owner who went on the run after an explosion that killed 105 workers in one of China's worst mining accidents in years, a police official said Sunday.
Wang Donghai was captured Saturday, said a duty officer at the public security bureau in Linfen, the city in Shanxi province that oversees Hongtong county, where the Dec. 5 blast occurred.
The officer, who gave his surname as Guo, did not have any other details.
It is common for officials and owners to flee after accidents occur at their mines.
On Saturday, police captured Wang Hongliang, the mine's legal representative, who had been hiding in Taiyuan, a city about 125 miles to the north, the Xinhua News Agency said.
At least 35 other people have been detained in connection with the explosion at the Ruizhiyuan mine. State media have said a variety of mistakes contributed to the tragedy.
Reports have said more than 128 miners were working in the Ruizhiyuan shaft at the time of blast, well beyond the authorized limit of 60 — a regular practice stemming from huge demand and high prices for coal. Managers also delayed announcing the accident for five hours, the reports said.
The accident was the second deadliest this year, following a flood in a mine in eastern China that drowned 172 miners.
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