41 killed, 57 missing in China mine disasters

Agence France Presse

Beijing, July 11:

Forty-one miners died and 57 others are missing after two separate disasters in China’s beleagured coal mine industry, a government agency and state media said Monday.

The bulk of the casualties came when a gas explosion ripped through a mine in

China’s northwest Xinjiang region, killing at least 40 and leaving 43 unaccounted for, the State Administration for Work Safety said.

A total of 87 people were working in the Shenlong Coal Mine, in Xinjiang’s Fukang city, when the blast hit the shaft today. Only four miners have been found alive.

“At 8:00 am, rescuers entered the mine to find the missing miners. There are 20 rescuers in the shaft right now, but the situation is unclear. We don’t know what the situation is like down there,” a man surnamed Hu at the mine’s office told AFP.

“There are eight to nine ambulances above ground waiting.” The chances of the missing miners surviving appear slim. As the cause of the blast was under investigation, the government work safety agency also revealed that one miner died and 14 others were feared dead in a separate coal mine accident in southern China’s Jiangxi province. The accident happened on July 7 when the Yongsheng coal mine near Chishan township unexpectedly flooded, the State Administration of Work Safety said.