Six killed in China coal mine blast

Three others are missing and feared dead after a blast ripped through a coal mine in Lengshuijiang City.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2006 12:12 IST

At least six persons were killed and three others are missing and feared dead after a blast ripped through a coal mine in Lengshuijiang City, central-south China's Hunan Province.

The missing miners were unlikely to survive as the ventilation system was ruined and tunnels blocked, while gas remained dense underground, rescuers said.

The accident occurred at the Dongtang coal mine of the city on Thursday, when 14 miners, including six women, were working underground.

Five miners, including two women, managed to escape the accident, Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.

China's labour law forbids women from working in shafts.

The head of the coal industry bureau of Lengshuijiang city, Yuan Xinzhong said the Dongtang Coal Mine is a licensed colliery with an annual production capacity of 10,000 tonnes.

In March, the Hunan provincial government ordered all coal mines with heavy gas contents and high risks, including the Dongtang Coal Mine, to suspend production.

However, the mine has since gone on operating against the order, the official said.

China, which relies on coal for two-thirds of its energy needs, has witnessed a series of major coal mine accidents this year.

China's coal mines are regarded as the deadliest in the world. Last year, nearly 6,000 miners died in Chinese coal mine accidents.

First Published: Apr 10, 2006 12:12 IST