Rescuers have recovered the bodies of five more miners who were
trapped in Saturday's gas explosion in a coal mine in Linfen,
Shanxi Province, north China, raising the confirmed death toll to
The fate of 10 other miners is not known as rescue efforts
continue, according to rescue headquarters.
"The smoke inside the shaft is so thick that it's very difficult
for us to go down to look for those still trapped," said one
A gas blast occurred around 1:50 PM on Saturday at Pudeng Coal
Mine in Kecheng Township of Puxian County where 125 miners were
Ninety-five miners, including 23 who were injured -- one
seriously, escaped, according to a press release given by Shanxi
Provincial Bureau of Work Safety on Sunday.
Bureau sources said the coal mine had been earlier ordered to
suspend production but mine operators resumed production without a
"The coal mine was in a mess and under poor management," said
the provincial work safety watchdog, adding that the 125 miners who
were working underground at the time of the blast had been hired by
five different mining contractors.
Zhao Tiechui, director of the State Administration for Coal Mine
Safety Supervision, together with local officials led by Shanxi
Governor Yu Youjun, arrived at the site to help guide the rescue
Local police have put the coal mine owner and several managers
The cause of the gas explosion is being investigated.
Pudeng Coal Mine had an annual production capacity of 150,000
(Xinhua News Agency May 6, 2007)