Local officials removed after Chinese mine accident kills 18

By The Associated Press

Authorities have removed six officials in central China from their positions after 18 workers were killed by a gas leak in a coal mine, state media reported.

In this photo taken Monday, May 8, 2017, rescue workers are interviewed at a coal mine in Youxian county in south China's Hunan province. Authorities have removed six officials in central China from their positions after more than a dozen workers were killed by a gas leak in the coal mine, state media reported. China is the world's largest coal producer and its mining industry has long been one of the world's deadliest, with hundreds of deaths annually. (Chinatopix Via AP)

BEIJING (AP) — Authorities have removed six officials in central China from their positions after 18 workers were killed by a gas leak in a coal mine, state media reported.

Those removed included the deputy county chief for Youxian County, Wang Zhuowen, the official Xinhua News Agency said late Monday.

Those responsible for the accident were detained by police, the news agency reported, although it was unclear if they were the same as the local officials removed from office.

Investigators were testing the makeup of the gas blamed for Sunday's accident at the Jilinqiao mine in Hunan Province. China is the world's largest coal producer and its mining industry has long been one of the world's deadliest, with hundreds of deaths annually.

After the gas leak was discovered, Jilinqiao's manager asked workers to enter the mine to rescue their colleagues, Xinhua said. The manager and some others who participated in the rescue were among those killed.

Authorities said 37 rescued miners were sent to hospitals for treatment.

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