In a coal and gas outburst at a mine in Fuyuan, a county in eastern Yunnan Province, on Saturday eleven miners lost their lives, local sources said.
The No.1 team, made up of 11 miners, was undertaking digging tasks at Bailongshan Coal Mine on Saturday when the tragedy occurred at 6:38 PM. A conveyor belt was blocked by the outburst which killed seven miners instantly and another four were missing, according to information provided by the Fuyuan County Committee of the Communist Party of China.
However, rescuers found the bodies of all 11 miners by 2:40 PM on Sunday. Rescue operations came to an end and the cause of the accident is under investigation. Though coal mines across China are widely considered the most dangerous in the world, the number of accidents and fatalities has been falling.
In northeast China's Jilin Province there were 61 coal mine accidents in the first six months of the year which resulted in 81 deaths. Despite this these figures both showed decreases of 4.7 percent and 25 percent compared to statistics for the same period last year, according to Zhang Peilin, an official with Jilin Provincial Bureau of Work Safety.
(Xinhua News Agency July 31, 2006)