China mudflow toll rises to 151

September 12th, 2008 - 4:38 am ICT by IANS  

Taiyuan (China), Sep 11 (Xinhua) The toll in China’s mudflow following heavy rain Monday in northern Shanxi province has risen to 151, rescue officials said Thursday.Most of the deaths occurred when a warehouse of the Xinta Mining Company in Xiangfen county collapsed under the impact of mud and rock flow.

Authorities in Beijing has sent a fact-finding team comprising officials of different departments to the area to investigate the high number of deaths, team leader Wang Jun, director of the work safety department, said.

The rescue work is still continuing. More than 3,000 people are engaged in the rescue work, Jun said.

It is one of the major accidents in China this year involving many deaths, Wang said.

“The rising number of accidents in the country is a proof of poor safety and supervision work by local government departments. Those responsible for the accident will be dealt with seriously,” he said.

Meanwhile, the police have detained 13 people held responsible for the warehouse accident, including the company’s board chairman, the mine manager and a vice manager.

The Communist party chief and head of Taosi township, director of the work safety bureau and the chief engineer of the Xiangfen county were sacked after the incident for negligence of duty.

Reports said hundreds of people were missing after the mudflow Monday and many injured were rushed to hospitals for treatment.

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