Eleven miners were killed this weekend in a coal and gas explosion at a coal mine in Fuyuan, a county in eastern Yunnan Province, local sources said yesterday.
A team of 11 miners were working underground in the Bailongshan Coal Mine on Saturday when the tragedy occurred.
At 6:38 PM the conveyor belt was blocked by the coal and gas explosion, killing seven miners on the spot, according to Fuyuan County Party Committee. All bodies had been found by Sunday afternoon.
It is not known whether the mine operated legally or otherwise.
An investigation is ongoing into the cause of the accident.
Though coal mines across China are widely considered the most dangerous in the world, the number of accidents and fatalities is decreasing.
In northeast China's Jilin Province, for instance, there were 61 coal mines accidents in the first six months of the year, causing 81 deaths, a decrease of 4.7 percent and 25 percent respectively year-on-year, according to Zhang Peilin, an official with Jilin Provincial Bureau of Work Safety.
(China Daily August 1, 2006)