ZHENGZHOU, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- A total of 13 officials and mine managers were arrested, sacked or suspended from their posts after two mine accidents on Tuesday killed 56, trapped another 36 and injured 14 in central China's Henan Province, local authorities said Wednesday night.
The death toll from the coal mine gas explosion in Pingdingshan City rose to 43 with 36 still missing, said a spokesman with the Henan Provincial Bureau of Work Safety.
The deadly gas blast took place around 1 a.m. Tuesday in the Xinhua No. 4 pit in Xinhua District. A total of 93 people were working in the pit when the accident happened, 14 of whom managed to escape.
The legal representative of the mine Li Xinjun, vice head Hou Min and Deng Qun, are in criminal custody.
Qi Tongyan, deputy head of Xinhua District of Pingdingshan City, and Zhang Xizhi, a coal industry administration official of the city, were dismissed from their posts Tuesday afternoon, about 10 hours after the deadly gas blast.
Another eight officials and mine managers were punished after 13 workers were choked to death in a fire at a gold mine owned by Jinyuan Mining Co., in Sanmenxia City. The bodies have been retrieved and sent to a funeral home Wednesday.
A cave-in cut off electric wires and triggered the fire at about 9 p.m. Tuesday. At the time of the fire 12 miners were working underground, and six fled to safety. The mine sent eight rescuers down the pit, but seven were trapped by the fire.
Hou Lejian, deputy mayor of Lingbao City under the administration of Sanmenxia, Li Zanpeng, a city government official, had their posts suspended. The mine managers Liu Shulin, Jin Jianping and Li Zongyan were dismissed, said the Communist Party of China Sanmenxia Committee.
The officials with the city's gold mine and work safety administrations were also dismissed. Police have detained the working team head, the committee said.