» 08/22/2007, 00.00
Beijing admits Xintai mining accidents were “completely avoidable”
Party media and government websites admit that flooding was likely and that mining executives were forewarned but did nothing. As remaining hopes for rescue fade local authorities are trying to prevent families from talking to “outsiders.”
Authorities expected the Xintai mining disaster
For days official media had openly discussed flood-related risks. It might take 40 days to pump the mines dry. Few people still hope the 181 miners trapped underground will be rescued. Authorities issue orders banning work underground when rains are heavy but fail to explain why they did not act before.
No one guilty for the thousands of mining deaths
According to the Supreme People's Procuratorate, 95.6 per cent of all officials investigated in cases of mining accidents are never punished despite their failure to uphold safety rules or even their collusion with mine owners.
Death toll rises in Gansu earthquake
At least 89 people have died as a result of the powerful earthquake that struck the city of Dingxi yesterday. Rescue workers look for survivors under the rubble, but landslides and mud hamper emergency operations.
Hu Jintao in Sichuan, perhaps 50,000 dead
For the Chinese president rescue operations are entering their “crucial phase.” The prime minister urges the party to work towards maintaining social stability. Hospitals are full as hope to find survivors under the rubble fades by the hour. First foreign rescue teams arrive in the area.
New quake in Yunnan, dozens injured and hundreds of homes destroyed
The earthquake of magnitude 5 has caused casualties and destroyed or damaged at least 481 homes. The epicenter is about a hundred kilometers from the zone struck by an earthquake on August 3. It is a rural area with a high population density. More than 50 km of roads damaged, 41 km of underground connections and 21 km of electric cables.
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