11 dead, three missing in China mine blast: Govt | world | Hindustan Times
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11 dead, three missing in China mine blast: Govt

world Updated: Aug 25, 2009 08:57 IST

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At least 11 workers were killed and three were missing in a gas explosion at a coalmine in north China's Shanxi province, a spokeswoman for the local government said on Tuesday.

The accident took place on Monday at a colliery in Jinzhong city, according to the spokeswoman for the Heshun county government, Li Yuanzhen.

Eleven bodies were recovered and two workers were rescued, but three remained in the mine, she told AFP.

The state news agency Xinhua reported that rescuers worked through the night to try to improve ventilation in the mineshaft, and were planning to go underground on Tuesday in a bid to rescue the three missing workers.

Officials launched an investigation into the cause of the blast.

China's coalmines are notoriously dangerous.

Official figures show that more than 3,200 workers died in collieries last year, but independent labour groups say the actual figure could be much higher, as many accidents are covered up in order to avoid costly mine shutdowns.