Toll rises in China mine blast

At least 21 miners still trapped as rescue work continues in Heilongjiang province.

    Working in China's coal mines has proven one of the most dangerous civilian jobs in the world [AFP]

    Zhang Fucheng, an official in charge of rescue efforts, told Chinese television that efforts were being impeded by dense gas and collapsed tunnels.

    The mine is located near the border with Russia, about 400km northeast of Harbin, the provincial capital.

    Deadliest mines

    It is run by one of China's top 520 state-owned enterprises, according to the website of its owner, the Hegang branch of the Heilongjiang Longmei Holding Mining Group.

    It says the Hegang branch has more than 88,000 employees.

    About 389 miners managed to escape after the gas explosion, Xinhua said, quoting officials at the mine.

    China's mines are the world's deadliest, with safety standards often ignored in the quest for profits and the drive to meet surging demand for coal - the source of about 70 per cent of China's energy.

    Official figures show that more than 3,200 workers died in collieries last year, but independent labour groups say the actual figure could be much higher.

    Unregulated operations account for almost 80 per cent of the country's 16,000 mines.

    The closing of many small, dangerous mines halved the average number of miners killed to about six a day in the first half of this year, according to the government.

     

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months