Death toll in north China colliery blast rises to 23 | india | Hindustan Times
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Death toll in north China colliery blast rises to 23

india Updated: Nov 12, 2006 09:22 IST

Beijing, Nov 12 (PTI) Death toll from the colliery gas blast in north China's Shanxi Province rose to 23 with the recovery of four more miners' body.

The rest 24 trapped miners likely do not survive due to the high intensity of toxic gas and serious tunnel cave-in, rescuers said.

The State Council, China's cabinet, set up a task force on Friday to investigate the cause of the coal mine blast, which occurred last Sunday in the Jiaojiazhai Coal Mine in Xinzhou, a central-north city of Shanxi Province, the state media reported today.

Headed by the director of the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), Li Yizhong the investigation group will also try to find if any people is accountable for the accident.

Though the direct cause of the blast is still under investigation, the task force sent by the State Council blamed it "to be rooted from production safety ignorance and a chaotic management of the mine owner."

Li said he was "shocked to see the long-existing serious hidden dangers in the mine and the miners' habitual ignorance of the operation instructions."

The official vowed to severely punish the related individuals and companies and urged all coal mine owners in China draw a lesson from the accident.

China is the world's largest coal producer and consumer.

However, Chinese coal mines are considered the deadliest due to high rates of accidents. On an average, 12 miners die every day in Chinese coal mines.