Shanxi government accused of covering up tunnel explosion

Shanxi officials are accused of covering up a deadly tunnel explosion on Christmas Day

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 December, 2012, 2:39pm
UPDATED : Monday, 31 December, 2012, 3:48pm

An explosion at a railway tunnel construction site in Linfen city, Shanxi, left at least eight people dead and five injured, the provincial government said on Monday, days after news of the accident first appeared on Chinese social media.

Though no official detailed reports have been published as of Monday, the accident was said to have occurred as early as December 25.

According to rumours that began spreading on social media site Sina Weibo last week, the railway accident resulted in the “tragic death of 60 workers” - a claim that Shanxi officials have disputed.

Netizens have accused the Shanxi government of attempting to cover up the accident given the near week-long media silence.

statement published on the province’s official website on Monday and on state-run Sina News said circumstances of the accident were still under investigation and that further details would be announced to the public.

Excavation work was in process on the central and southern portions of the Liangshan tunnel when explosives used for demolition went off, according to the statement. 

The five injured are being treated at a hospital.