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Coal mine blast kills 11 in China

25 August 2009

At least 11 workers have been killed in a gas explosion at a coal mine in the northern Chinese province of Shanxi. The blast ripped through a shaft at the Xingguang company coal mine in Heshun County in the city of Jinzhong at approximately 11.10am on Monday 24th August while 16 miners were working underground.

Coal mine blast kills 11 in China
Coal mine blast kills 11 in China

Two miners who were working near the entrance to the mine shaft escaped unharmed. Three people are still missing and Rescuers worked through the night to clear debris from the shaft entrance and inserted a pipe into the 300m deep shaft to improve ventilation and dilute gas underground.

Chinese mines are the deadliest in the world. Official figures state at least 3,200 people died in China's coal mines in 2008, but the actual figure is likely to be much higher as many accidents are covered up to avoid costly mine shutdowns. Almost 80% of China’s estimated 16,000 mines are illegal.

China has been attempting to crack down on violation of safety regulations at coal mines, and many smaller mines have closed in recent months.

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