21 Are Killed in Explosion at China Mine
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SHANGHAI -- A coal mine explosion in central China early Saturday killed 26 workers and trapped 11 others underground, China's state-run news media said.
The accident is the latest tragedy to hit this nation's mining industry.
The official Xinhua News Agency said rescuers were trying to reach the trapped miners after a gas explosion occurred about 6 a.m. Saturday, in the city of Yuzhou in Henan Province.
Dozens of relatives and friends of the 11 miners underground gathered outside the site on Sunday while rescuers fought tons of coal dust to reach the workers, The Associated Press reported. The number of miners confirmed dead rose to 26, state media said, citing a briefing by the rescue headquarters.
Mining accidents are so common in China that they rarely make newspaper front pages. Last year, more than 2,600 people were killed in mining accidents in China. By comparison, there were only 34 mining deaths in the United States, according to the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The Chinese government has repeatedly vowed to improve the safety of mining conditions, and nearly every year safety regulators announce the closing of thousands of illegal mines, which tend to be the most dangerous.
But the mine involved in Saturday's blast is owned by the Pingyu Coal and Electric Company, a joint venture that is at least partly state-owned.
First Published October 17, 2010 2:01 am