12 dead, 32 trapped in latest China mine disaster
BEIJING , APR 01 -
A gas explosion at a mine in central China killed 12 workers and trapped 32 underground, state media said Thursday, the second major mine disaster in the country this week.
Fifty miners were able to escape after the Wednesday evening blast, which was caused by an underground gas leak, the Xinhua News Agency said, citing in Henan province's governor, Guo Gengmao. It's possible the trapped miners survived the explosion, he was cited as saying.
About 100 rescue workers were trying to reached the trapped workers at the privately owned Guomin Mining Co. coal pit in Yichuan County of Luoyang City, Xinhua said. The mine had been under renovation.
Mine boss Wang Guozheng has disappeared and authorities ordered his assets frozen in the wake of the accident, Xinhua said. Yichuan County Chief Wu Ligang and three other county officials were fired.
News of the explosion came as rescue work continued at a mine in northern China's Shanxi province, four days after 153 workers were trapped underground when water flooded the shaft where they were working.
The flood at the Wangjialing mine started when workers digging tunnels broke through into an old shaft filled with water, a government safety body said, accusing mine officials of ignoring safety rules and danger warnings in a rush to open the mine.
There has been no contact with the trapped miners, but authorities held out hope that some could be alive.
China's coal mines are the world's deadliest, despite a multiyear government effort to reduce fatalities. Most accidents are blamed on failure to follow safety rules or lack of required ventilation, fire-control and equipment.
Accidents killed 2,631 coal miners in China last year, down from 6,995 deaths in 2002, the most dangerous year on record, according to the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety.
Posted on: 2010-04-01 09:19