Chinese mine flood: 11 people arrested

Chinese police have arrested 11 people for their role in a coal mine accident in which 123 miners were trapped in a flood shaft deep underground, state media reported on Wednesday.

Authorities have reportedly suspended two mayors who oversaw mines in the area, accusing them of negligence.

Two officials were given a disciplinary warning for not reporting the water level in the flooded shaft accurately or quickly, Xinhua said.

"The headquarters in charge of the rescue work urged all rescuers to fulfill their duties and anyone who neglects their duties will be removed from their posts immediately," according to Xinhua.

The Daxing mine was operating without a license and there was a government ban on mining in the area following a flood at another colliery in mid July, the official Xinhua news agency reported, BBC informs.

In the immediate aftermath of Sunday's accident, over 60 managers from the mining company fled, but some have now returned to help with the rescue effort.

The mayors of Xingning and of Meizhou have been suspended for failing to properly control mining in the area, Xinhua reported. Chinese mines are extremely dangerous and accidents frequent because of poor safety standards and equipment.

Xinhua news agency recently reported that about 2,700 workers have been killed in mining incidents in the first half of this year alone. Correspondents say increasing demand for energy has put pressure on mines in China to provide coal faster, BBC says.

The Chinese government has recently pledged to take greater steps to improve mine safety.

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