20 dead, seventeen trapped after Chinese coal mine explosion

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A map of China showing the Henan province
Image: Ran.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

An early morning coal mine explosion in Beijing, China left 20 miners dead and seventeen trapped inside. The blast occurred at approximately 06:00 am (22:00 UTC) local time in the Henan province, about 430 miles (690 kilometers) south of the capital Beijing.

A spokesperson for the State Administration of Work Safety said that the cause of the blast and the depth of the trapped miners are unknown. He also confirmed that seventeen people were trapped instead of 30 as previously reported.

China's mining industry is one of the most dangerous in the world with thousands of deaths each year. Earlier this year 115 miners were rescued from a flooded coal mine in China. The group survived by eating sawdust, tree bark, paper and coal. 1,600 illegal Chinese coal mines have already been shut down this year in an attempt by regulators to improve safety standards. The number of fatalities in Chinese mines had fallen, but rose suddenly again earlier this year.