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China investigates officials after deadly mine accident

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Beijing, China Feb 28, 2019, 02.17 PM (IST)

Five officials are under investigation in northern China after 22 miners were killed when their transport crashed into the side of a mine tunnel, local authorities said.

The accident, which left another 28 miners injured, happened last Saturday in the region of Inner Mongolia after the vehicle experienced brake failure.

A photo published by state-run media shows a bus-like vehicle with heavy damage to its front resting against the side of a tunnel wall.

Five officials "are suspected of serious violations of the law and are currently undergoing disciplinary review and supervision investigation", a local government disciplinary commission said in a statement.

Ten suspects have been detained in the incident, the official Xinhua news agency reported. It is unclear immediately whether these include the officials under probe.

Investigators said the vehicle was overloaded -- carrying 50 people instead of 30 -- and had been illegally bought online, Xinhua reported. 

It added that the vehicle was meant for overground transport, but had instead been used in a tunnel at the lead, zinc and silver mine of the Yinman Mining Company.

Deadly mining accidents remain common in China despite efforts to improve conditions and crack down on illegal mines, particularly those that produce coal.

Story highlights

The accident, which left another 28 miners injured, happened last Saturday in the region of Inner Mongolia after the vehicle experienced brake failure.