Hunan mine blast kills seven
12 July 2012
A gas blast at a coal mine in China's central province of Hunan killed seven people on July 8, according to the Xinhua news agency. Some 39 other miners escaped from the mine in Lianyuan city, Xinhua said, quoting local government.
The latest official figures from China say 1,973 people died in coal mining accidents in 2011, down 19% on the previous year, but these figures are disputed by some
The latest accident came as rescuers in another part of Hunan were mounting attempts to find eight coal miners still missing four days after their mine flooded. Eight miners were rescued from the flooded coal mine in Leiyang city on July 8, but another eight remained unaccounted for, Xinhua said in a separate report.
AFP says tighter safety standards appear to have been effective according to the latest official figures, which say 1,973 people died in coal mining accidents in 2011, down 19% on the previous year.
Labour rights groups say the actual death toll is likely much higher, partly due to under-reporting of accidents as mine bosses seek to limit their economic losses and avoid punishment.
China is the world's biggest consumer of coal, relying on the fossil fuel for 70% of its energy needs.