Mining company shut down for covering up accidents and deaths

Zhang Long
A mining company in Shanxi Province has been shut down after being accused of covering up 40 mining incidents and the deaths of 43 miners since its founding in 2003.
Zhang Long

A mining company in north China's Shanxi Province has been shut down after accusations of covering up 40 mining incidents and the deaths of 43 miners since its founding in 2003.

The findings of a joint investigation team were revealed on Sunday by the province's official WeChat account Shanxi Fabu. Shocking details including organized cover-ups of accidents, worker exploitation, illegal activities, and corruption were uncovered.

Two responsible individuals surnamed Pan and Wang were given administrative penalties and lifetime bans from holding managing positions in the mining industry.

Local police have launched investigations into the cover-up of accidents, with Pan, Wang, and 28 other suspects now in police custody.

According to the report, 43 miners with Jingcheng Mining died due to accidents from 2003 to 2022, and all these fatalities were covered up by the company.

When fatal accidents occurred, the company used threats and high compensation to hush up the victims' families and blocked reporting of the accidents.

The investigation found the company guilty of various illegal activities.

In 2004, the company's subcontracting and lack of oversight allowed a contractor named Jin Fujun to become involved in the iron ore mining industry.

Jin and his group formed a mafia-style organization, exploiting various means such as mining contracts, coercion, and operating gambling establishments to amass wealth illegally.

They were involved in 17 criminal cases, including intentional injury, extortion, causing disturbances, forced transactions, intentional destruction of property, running illegal gambling venues, illegal storage of explosives, and false reporting of safety accidents.

In December 2021, the Intermediate People's Court of Xinfu District, Xinzhou City, sentenced him to 22 years in prison, a five-year deprivation of political rights, and the confiscation of all personal property.

It was also found that the local regulatory authorities failed to detect the company's cover-up of accidents, and being lenient in regular inspections, which led to accidents to occur repeatedly.

As of now, 16 involved officials suspected of serious violations of discipline and law have been placed under investigation and taken into custody.

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