China: seven confirmed dead in coal mine flood, seven others still missing

Seven miners were confirmed dead in a coal mine flood in northern China and seven others were still missing Sunday, in the latest accident to strike the nation's disaster-prone mining industry, state media said.

The flood Saturday in the Yuanda Coal Mine in Hebei province trapped 14 miners underground, and by early Sunday seven bodies had been retrieved, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The mine's owners have been detained by police for questioning, it said. An investigation into the cause of the flooding was under way.

The accident occurred in the city of Xingtai, where another disaster earlier this month at a gypsum mine killed 33 people.

China's coal mines are the world's deadliest, with thousands killed each year in fires, floods and explosions. The government has repeatedly vowed to improve mine safety, reported AP. P.T.