Explosion in Coal Mine Leaves 31 Trapped

Jin Baicheng

A gas explosion occurred on Sunday in a coal mine in Liaoyuan, Northeast China's Jilin Province, trapping 31 miners underground.

Local authorities and relevant departments rushed to the site to search for the missing miners, according to a local official who declined to give his name.

The provincial government of Jilin has also sent officials to inspect and direct the rescue work.

By 3pm Monday, two of the 33 miners working underground at the time of the explosion had been rescued, leaving 31 still stranded underground.

An investigation into the cause of the accident is still under way.

Officials of the mine refused to make comments on the accident.

A series of similar accidents have marred the reputation of China's coal mining industry recently.

On November 1, a fire in a small coal mine killed at least 10 people in Fengcheng, a county in East China's Jiangxi Province.

Another gas explosion in a coal mine in Liupanshui, Southwest China's Guizhou, killed at least 48 in late September.

There were at least four coal mine explosions in July in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, Yunnan Province and Chongqing Municipality.

In Sichuan Province alone, gas explosions in small coal mines have killed at least 21 miners this year. The province ordered all of its small coal mines to close until they could be inspected for safety.

(China Daily 11/7/2000)

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