First thing China, August 30

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 August, 2012, 5:55am
UPDATED : Friday, 31 August, 2012, 9:29am

44 trapped as Sichuan mine collapses (updated)

The collapse of a coal mine shortly before midnight yesterday in Panzhihua, southern Sichuan province, Xinhua reports, has left 44 workers trapped below ground in addition to 9 confirmed deaths. Xinhua also writes that a manager of the mine is now in police custody. 08/30/09:00 update: Fifteen lives have now been claimed in the accident and 32 miners remain trapped.

Former Guangzhou mayor awash in rumours

Former Guangzhou mayor Zhang Guangning has jumped to his death while under investigation for corruption, according to sourceless online rumours, while others suspect he's merely being held for investigation. Zhang hasn't been seen in public since May this year, contributing to wild speculation regarding his current situation. The longstanding belief that Zhang married well-known Guangzhou television presenter Zhang Xiaoli in 2010 was put to rest yesterday when she took to her microblog account to deny the rumour and ask the public to respect her privacy.

Military officer accused of assaulting flight attendant gets 'human flesh search engine' treatment

In other airplane news, a China Southern Airlines employee has posted photos on his blog of a coworker who claims she was assaulted by a passenger yesterday on flight CZ3874 from Hefei, Anhui province, to Guangzhou. In the woman's written account, posted to her coworker's blog, she describes being struck by a passenger wielding a suitcase that he refused to move from the aisle to the overhead compartment prior to takeoff. After giving his surname, enraged microbloggers and reporters quickly identified her alleged assailant as Fang Daguo, a high-ranking military officer based in Guangzhou and member of the party standing committee for the city's Yuexiu district.