The death toll from a coal mine gas blast in south China's Hunan Province has risen to 15 after rescuers
found another 10 bodies underground on Wednesday afternoon, local
The explosion occurred at about 11:00 AM on Tuesday at
Hongfa Coal Mine in Niumasi town, Shaodong County, as miners were
carrying out maintenance, according to officials at the rescue
Seventeen miners escaped and five bodies were recovered on
Tuesday. Another ten bodies were recovered at 4:00 PM on
One of the dead is confirmed to be from southwest China's Guizhou Province, and the other fourteen are
farmers from Shaodong County and nearby Shaoyang and Xinshao
Two of the nine shareholders of the coal mine have been
arrested, and police are seeking general manager Mo Zhixiang,
according to the local police authority.
The State Administration of Work Safety sent experts to the
scene to help with the investigation on Wednesday. Damaged
ventilation shafts and illegal electrical systems are believed to
be the cause of the accident, according to officials.
With an expired license and no safety permit, Hongfa coal mine
was ordered to stop production last August.
(Xinhua News Agency March 8, 2007)