At least 15 dead in China coal mine blast | india | Hindustan Times
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At least 15 dead in China coal mine blast

india Updated: Jan 29, 2007 15:35 IST

A gas explosion in a Chinese coal mine killed at least 15 miners, and rescuers were searching on Monday for a missing miner, a news report said.

The explosion occurred before dawn on Sunday in the Yile Coal Mine in the southern town of Shuitang in Guizhou province, the government's Xinhua News Agency reported.

It said the mine owner was taken into custody. The tunnel ceiling collapsed, hampering rescuers who were looking for the final missing miner, Xinhua said, citing provincial mine safety authorities.

The cause of the explosion was under investigation, the report said.

China's coal mines are the world's deadliest, suffering thousands of deaths a year in fires, floods and other disasters despite repeated official promises to improve safety.

Many accidents are blamed on indifference to safety rules or lack of required equipment such as ventilators to remove explosive fumes that seep from the coal bed.