The death toll has risen to 83 in the coal mine gas blast that occurred Monday in Fukang, a city in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which constituted the region's worst coal mine accident in history, said a senior safety official Wednesday.
According to Zhao Tiechui, director of the State Coal Mine Safety Supervision Administration, the gas explosion took place around 2:30 AM Monday in Shenlong Coal Mine of Fukang County, 62 kilometers away from Urumqi, the regional capital, when 87 people were working underground. Only four of them survived the accident.
China's work safety watchdog has blamed the coal mine blast for a number of safety loopholes, including overproduction, lack of a work safety license and ill-management.
(Xinhua News Agency July 13, 2005)