Hebei's government fired three officials in Tangshan for trying to cover up a coal mine explosion that killed 22 people, Xinhua said yesterday. The report said more than 30 officials and mine managers had been punished or detained over the incident. The July 14 blast at a mine in Wei county was ignited by explosives illegally stored in a shaft. Among the three fired officials was Han Guoqiang, a deputy chief of the Guye district government. The names of the other two officials were not released, but Xinhua said one was a government chief in the town where the mine was located. The other was a town official in charge of mine safety.