Chinese coal mine disasters: 74 killed, 39 missing

At least 74 miners have been killed and 39 others missing in two separate coal mine accidents in China, the world's largest coal producer and consumer, local governments said today. In yesterday's gas explosion in Tangshan city in North China's Hebei Province, at least 74 miners are dead and 32 are missing, a local official said. Rescuers had found the remains of 71 miners in the laneway and brought 32 others to the ground alive today, but three of them died in hospital, he said.

They are trying to reduce gas density in the laneway in their search for the 32 miners who remain missing after the blast occurred yesterday at the Liuguantun coal mine in Kaiping District of Tangshan, possibly caused by gas explosion.

The mine coal management reported that 82 miners escaped safely shortly after the blast and 104 others were trapped underground. But investigators found the exact number was two more than that, Xinhua news agency reported. The coal mine, formerly state-owned, was privatised in 2002 with a designed annual production capacity of 300,000 tonnes.

Director of the State Administration of Work Safety, Li Yizhong and Director of the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety, Zhao Tiechui, have left for the accident site to oversee rescue work. In another accident, a coal mine flooding has trapped seven miners in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province today, a separate report said, reports the AP. I.L.

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