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China coal mine blast kills 28

world Updated: Oct 30, 2011 19:55 IST

AFP
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A gas explosion at a coal mine in central China has killed 28 miners, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday, the latest in a series of accidents to hit the country's mining industry.

One person was also still trapped following the blast, which happened on Saturday at the Xialiuching Coal Mine in Hengyang city, Hunan province, Xinhua said.

A total of 35 miners were working in the mine at the time, the agency said, quoting local authorities. Six of them had been rescued and were being treated in hospital.

Rescue workers were still searching for the remaining trapped worker.

China's mining industry has a notoriously poor safety record. At least 19 people were killed earlier this month in similar explosions at two other mines.

In 2010, 2,433 people died in coal mine accidents in China, according to official statistics -- a rate of more than six workers per day.

Labour rights groups say the actual death toll is likely much higher, partly due to under-reporting of accidents as mine bosses seek to limit their economic losses and avoid punishment.