China mine blast kills 118

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The Independent Online

A gas explosion in a coal mine in southern China killed 118 miners, a local mine official said Thursday. The blast occurred at about 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Muchonggou Coal Mine in Shuicheng, a city in Guizhou province, said Zhong Tianfang, an official of the municipal mine bureau. Another 123 miners were rescued, leaving no one missing, Zhong said by telephone from Shuicheng, which is 1,350 miles (2,150 kilometers) southwest of Shanghai. "The rescue work went very quickly and smoothly," he said. China has the world's deadliest coal mines. More than 2,730 miners died in the first six months of the year, according to government statistics. Many mines are poorly run, lacking adequate fire and ventilation equipment, and safety regulations are rarely enforced. Zhong said the state-owned Muchonggou mine was properly licensed, unlike the small, unlicensed mines that account for a large share of China's fatal accidents. Zhong said the blast in the Muchonggou mine was blamed on a buildup of gas, but

A gas explosion in a coal mine in southern China killed 118 miners, a local mine official said Thursday. The blast occurred at about 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Muchonggou Coal Mine in Shuicheng, a city in Guizhou province, said Zhong Tianfang, an official of the municipal mine bureau. Another 123 miners were rescued, leaving no one missing, Zhong said by telephone from Shuicheng, which is 1,350 miles (2,150 kilometers) southwest of Shanghai. "The rescue work went very quickly and smoothly," he said. China has the world's deadliest coal mines. More than 2,730 miners died in the first six months of the year, according to government statistics. Many mines are poorly run, lacking adequate fire and ventilation equipment, and safety regulations are rarely enforced. Zhong said the state-owned Muchonggou mine was properly licensed, unlike the small, unlicensed mines that account for a large share of China's fatal accidents. Zhong said the blast in the Muchonggou mine was blamed on a buildup of gas, but the exact cause was still under investigation.

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