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Third China mine explosion in a week brings death toll to 60

07 December 2016

Seven coal miners are confirmed dead and another four still missing after a gas explosion in a mine in the central province of Hubei, Chinese authorities said on December 7. Rescuers were still trying to reach the missing miners and are pumping air into the mine shaft to aid the rescue effort. Five miners were able to escape immediately after the blast.

Stock image
Stock image

This was the third major mining accident in one week, causing a cumulative total of 60 deaths. Two days earlier, 32 miners were confirmed dead at a mine in Chifeng city in the Inner Mongolia region after an incident on December 3. Out of 181 miners working underground, 149 managed to get out and the rest died, the Xinhua News Agency reported. The mine was operated by the Baoma Mining Co.

In the first disaster, authorities confirmed on December 2 that 21 people had died after a coal mine blast in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.

Coal accounts for almost two-thirds of China's energy consumption, but its mines are among the world's deadliest due to lax enforcement of safety standards.

China has ordered all of the country's coal mines to conduct a safety overhaul in the past month, the deputy director of the country's work safety watchdog said on December 2.

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