China mine blast kills more than 130

The toll from a coal mine explosion in northeast China has risen to 138, with 11 miners still missing, state media reported, as the country's leadership called for tighter work safety measures.

    China's coal mines are the world's deadliest

    Coal dust caught fire at the mine in the city of Qitaihe on Sunday while 221 miners were working underground, the official Xinhua news agency said. More than 70 miners were rescued, it said.

    Outside the mine late on Monday, distraught family members sought answers. A stream of emergency vehicles travelled back and forth on the narrow road leading to the mine.

    A 269-member rescue team was searching for the miners still trapped in the Qitaihe mine, and Li Yizhong, minister of the State Administration of Work Safety, told them to "spare no efforts" to save the workers, Xinhua said.

    Unsafe mines

    China's coal mines are the world's deadliest. Fires, floods, cave-ins and explosions are reported almost daily, and thousands of miners are killed every year.

    Efforts to shut down dangerous mines have been complicated by the country's soaring demands for power to drive its booming economy.

    Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao urged officials to curb the "possible occurrence of big safety accidents which claim huge casualties and property losses", the state-run newspaper China Daily said on Monday.

    The mine is owned by the Heilongjiang Longmei Mining Group Co, a conglomerate of four state-owned coal businesses in the province, Xinhua said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Life after death row: The pastor praying for Nigeria's prisoners

    The Nigerian pastor adapting to life after death row

    Clinton Kanu spent 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, but life on the outside feels far from free.

    What it means to love a dead child

    What it means to love a dead child

    You must forget all you thought you knew about grief when the landscape of your life has been demolished.

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    Kenya banned FGM in 2011, but Europeans still bring their daughters to underground clinics there to be cut.