Flooding traps 16 in northern China coal mine; death toll from gas blast at other mine to 10

By Cara Anna, AP
Saturday, November 28, 2009

Flooding traps 16 in northern China coal mine

BEIJING — Flooding trapped 16 coal miners in northeastern China on Saturday, while the death toll from a gas blast at another mine rose to 10.

China’s mining industry is the world’s deadliest, with most accidents blamed on poor safety as enterprises scramble to feed the country’s insatiable demand for coal.

The flooding occurred Friday afternoon after a cave-in at the mine in Meikou city in Jilin province, a provincial work safety official said.

Workers were trying to rescue the trapped miners, said the man who would not give his name, which is common among Chinese officials.

Reports first said 17 miners were trapped, but the official Xinhua News Agency said one miner was later found at home.

Xinhua said the cave-in occurred about half a mile (1 kilometer) inside the mine.

Separately, rescuers late Friday found a final body, bringing the death toll from a gas explosion at a coal mine in southern China to 10.

A spokesman with the Guizhou Provincial Work Safety Bureau told Xinhua that 172 miners were underground when the explosion occurred at the Zhenxing mine Thursday night.

A gas explosion last weekend at a northern Chinese coal mine killed 108 and was the country’s worst mining accident in two years.

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