Dozens die in China mine blast

An explosion at a coal mine in northern China has killed 54 people and 22 more are missing, state media said.

    Another mine accident killed 171 people last week

    Another 110 miners were rescued from the Liuguantun mine in

    Hebei province after the blast on Wednesday afternoon, said the

    Xinhua news agency which had a reporter at the scene.

    An official from the coal mine's district safety office said the

    mine shaft, owned by a company called Hengyuan Co. Ltd., was still

    under construction.

      

    "They haven't started collecting coal from there yet," the

    official surnamed Zhang told AFP.

    A total of 123 miners were working underground at the time, and by 7pm, only 27 miners had escaped, according to Xinhua.

    Gas explosion

    The incident comes 10 days after a gas explosion at the

    state-run Dongfeng coal mine near Qitaihe city in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang that killed 171 people, one of the worst mine accidents in recent years.

      

    The Liuguantun mine, 164 km from Beijing, was formerly state-owned but is now privately-run, according to the China News Service website.

     

    It produces 150,000 tons of coal a year, the website said.

      

    Even as the latest mine disaster was reported, officials in central China's Henan province were struggling to rescue 42 miners trapped in a flooded coal mine for the fifth day on Wednesday.

    SOURCE: AFP


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