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State media say 18 killed in latest China mine blast

26 November 2012

Eighteen coal miners were killed and another five are still trapped underground after an explosion at Xiangshui coal mine in southwestern China's Guizhou province on November 23. Local media sources said there were 28 in the mine, owned by the Guizhou Panjiang Group, at the time of the blast.

China has the world's deadliest coal mine industry, with 1,973 miners killed in accidents last year.

But labour rights groups say the actual death toll is much higher, partly due to under-reporting of accidents as mine bosses seek to limit their economic losses and avoid punishment.

In August, a mine blast in southwestern China's Sichuan province killed 44 people, the highest single accident toll for the industry in nearly three years, while in September, 20 workers died and another 14 were injured after a locomotive carrying workers failed and slipped down a mine shaft.

Earlier this year the Chinese Government announced it would close hundreds of coal mines across the country to help build a safer mining sector

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