Gas blast a China coal mine, 96 feared dead

Ninety-six Chinese miners were feared dead after a coal mine gas blast in the northern province of Shanxi on Thursday, Xinhua news agency said, the latest in a grim series of colliery disasters.

Gas blast a China coal mine, 96 feared dead
There was confusion over the number of workers at the mine in Linfen, 240 miles south of Taiyuan, the provincial capital.

The State Administration of Coal Mine Safety reported 40 dead with 13 survivors and 74 unaccounted for.

The coal mine safety bureau in Linfen, however, would not confirm the figures in a phone interview with Xinhua. It put the death toll at 46 and suggested the number of workers in the pit totaled about 111, Xinhua said.

The country has been trying to tighten safety regulations but its coal industry is still the world's deadliest, claiming close to 5,000 lives last year.

Last month, China warned coal mines to pay special attention to safety as the cold weather hits and they ramp up production to meet winter heating and power demand.

In a separate report, Xinhua said 11 miners had been trapped since Monday after a tunnel collapsed at an illegal iron and gold mine in the northern province of Hebei.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Aralık 2007, 16:11