20 dead in China coal mine gas leak

November 10th, 2011 - 11:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Nov 10 (IANS) At least 20 miners died and 23 others were trapped after a coal-mine gas leak accident occurred in China’s southwest province of Yunnan Thursday, Xinhua reported. The mine was being illegally operated.

The accident occurred around 6.30 a.m. at the Sizhuang Coal Mine in Shizong county of Qujing city, the Yunnan Provincial Emergency Response Office said in a statement.

Ventilation machines were being used til evening to pump excessive methane gas out from the shaft while hundreds of rescuers were taking turns to descend into the pit to find the trapped miners at Sizhuang Coal Mine near the city of Qujing in Yunnan province.

Preliminary investigations showed that the gas leak occurred at a platform inside the shaft but gas later spread to another platform, trapping 43 miners in the two areas.

The privately-run Sizhuang Coal Mine reports an annual of 90,000 tonnes.

The accident was the second deadly disaster to hit China’s dangerous mining sector in a week. Last Thursday, a rock collapse occurred in a coal mine in central Henan province, triggered by a 2.9-magnitude earthquake. Eight miners were killed but 53 others, including 45 who had been trapped underground for 40 hours, were saved in a miracle rescue.

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