According to the local authorities, the owner Ma Congbo drowned himself when he was in the mine to assist the rescue work to the 17 trapped miners.
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE): ZHANG SHUPING, Mayor of Linyi city
“I am deeply saddened to say that Ma Congbo, chairman of Yurong company that owns the mine, drowned himself by jumping into the water around 2 a.m. Sunday. According to the local police, he did it when working with the rescue team.”
The collapse occurred 7:56 p.m. when 29 people were working underground.