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Friday, November 11, 2011

China: mine accident kills 21, several trapped


Chinese state media said on Thursday that a gas leak at a colliery in southwestern China has killed 21 miners and trapped 22 underground, in the latest disaster to hit the accident-prone industry. The official Xinhua news agency said the accident occurred around 6:30 am local time (2230 GMT) on Thursday at a coal mine in Qujing in Yunnan province. It added that ventilation machines have been installed to drain excessive methane gas out of the shaft, while hundreds of rescuers took turns to go into the pit and conduct the search. The agency, quoting local work safety officials, said the privately-run Sizhuang coal mine, with an annual output capacity of 90,000 tonnes, was operating without a license when the accident occurred. The mine s license was revoked a year ago. China s mines are the deadliest in the world, because of lax safety standards and a rush to feed demand from a robust economy. In 2010, 2,433 people were killed in coal mine accidents in China, although this was an improvement on the toll of 2,631 the previous year.

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