By Maurits Elen
That Chinese mines are still the world’s most dangerous is confirmed once again with a second deathly and dusty accident this week. Only this time, the story has a little smudge of tragicomedy to it.
On Thursday a powerful gas leak in Yunnan province caused the Sizhuang Coal Mine to collapse, trapping 43 miners and killing 34, while leaving 9 miners still to be rescued.
Amongst the survivors is Qi Guming, deputy head of the coal mine, who tried to pull a fast one by smearing coal on his face, to fool others into thinking he’d been in the mines with them when he had in fact been napping above ground.
Though Qi was meant to be on duty when the incident occurred, he was instead getting his beauty rest, and rushed into the mine quickly after the accident, to pull off the neat trick of smearing his face to cover his ass.
Qi has been taken into custody on suspicion of faking evidence. Mine supervisors who don’t go underground with their workers face severe punishments under a rule imposed by the Chinese authorities last year to try to minimise accidents. According to the public security authority Qi actually never went down the tunnel with his co-workers, but made false claims to avoid being fined and losing his job.
His dirty act now makes him facing a lifetime ban on mine supervision work, and a fine that can take up to 80% of his last year’s income. We hope a lengthy prison sentence might give him the necessary amount of time for him to come to terms with how he chose to be a farce, rather than take responsibility for his laziness.