At least 73 dead after blast in Chinese coal mine
Sunday, February 22, 2009
According to the Chinese state news agency Xinhua, no less than 73 miners have been killed and a further 113 hospitalised after a gas blast in a coal mine in China on Sunday. The incident occurred before dawn in the mine in Gujiao City, located in the Shanxi province. 436 miners were underground in the mine at the time.
Xinhua stated that 340 of the miners had been rescued following the explosion, 21 of which are reported to have sustained serious injuries.
The mine belongs to the Shanxi Jiaomei Group, which is the country's largest producer of coking coal, and operates 28 mines.
China's mining industry is the most dangerous in the world, with 3,200 fatalities recorded in 2008. The safety record is improving, however, as that figure is a 15 percent decrease over the previous year.