Three city mayors were suspended from their positions Friday after three mine accidents killed 169 people in central China's Henan Province, said the provincial authorities Friday.
Li Endong, mayor of Pingdingshan City, Li Junfeng, vice mayor of the city in charge of work safety, and Shen Qinghuai, vice mayor of Luoyang City in charge of work safety, were suspended Friday, pending investigations, said the provincial committee of the Communist Party of China in a statement.
Pingdingshan has seen two deadly accidents since last year. At least 49 miners died after explosives detonated at Xingdong No. 2 Mine on June 21, 2010. Another deadly gas explosion killed 76 people in the Xinhua No.4 pit in Xinhua District on Sept. 8, 2009.
Luoyang City was home to a gas blast that killed 44 people in a coal pit in Yichuan County on March 31, 2010.
All three mines had been ordered to suspend production before the accidents but somehow operated secretly as a result of possible negligence by the safety watchdogs.