The chairman of Guangxi Autonomous region, Li Zhaozhuo, said yesterday his Government should not bear sole responsibility for a tin mine accident in Nandan county that killed 81 miners in July. Mr Li, who is in Beijing for the NPC session, said some aspects of illegal mining were 'beyond the control of Guangxi', adding that there were numerous reasons for the accident. He said the central Government had sent an investigative team to handle the case as there were some 'messy' issues the region was unable to deal with on its own. But he declined to say if the team had been sent in due to a conflict of interest over the mining industry. Mr Li also dismissed reports that Nandan was a lawless place run by triads and was beyond the Government's control. He said that 'mainly county officials' would be held responsible for the accident, but authorities were finalising the list. Some had already been charged. But he indicated no senior officials would be held accountable. Official media said at least five local officials had been detained, together with the mine owner. Earlier mainland media reports said local officials had colluded with gangsters to cover up the mine accident. Five-hundred workers were underground when the mine flooded following a series of explosions. It took days for the accident to come to light. Its seriousness of the accident, plus the media blackout, prompted the State Council to send the Minister of the State Economic and Trade Commission, Li Rongrong, to Nandan to investigate. Li Zhaozhuo said yesterday he had submitted a review to the State Council and asked for an administrative penalty to be handed down, but it had so far not been forthcoming. The Vice-chairman of the Guangxi Government, Wang Hanmin, was given a demerit in January over the accident. But Mr Li said Mr Wang had done a good job in regulating the mining industry. 'Wang Hanmin went to Nandan to conduct an investigation before the accident. His blueprint is the same as we are using now,' he said.