Investigators of an explosion of a gold mine in eastern China in February that killed 10 workers are citing the improper use and storage of explosives as the cause of the incident.

There were 70 tonnes of debris that blocked a mine shaft after the explosion on 10 January at the Shandong Wucailong Investment gold operation in Qixia, Shandong province. After a two-week rescue effort, 11 survivors were brought out of the mine via a parallel shaft that had just been drilled. 

One person remains missing, according to investigators, and 45 people are now facing punishments. The Associated Press reported that the accident was not reported by mine or government officials for more than 24 hours in a bid to avoid penalties.

Direct economic losses from the explosion have been estimated to be 68 million yuan, or US$10.5 million.

Sources: AP, People’s Daily