China mine flood: Death toll rises to 13

Rescue workers have recovered five more bodies from a flooded coal mine in northern China's Shanxi province.

world Updated: Jan 01, 2006 14:54 IST

Rescue workers have recovered five more bodies from a flooded coal mine in northern China's Shanxi province, bringing the death toll from last week's incident to 13, state media said on Sunday.

Four workers remained missing after Wednesday's flood at the Fanjiasi mine in Dianwan town in Zuoyun county.

An initial investigation suggested that the accident may have been caused by an error on the part of mine maintenance workers, Xinhua reported last week.

China has been hit by a string of deadly mine accidents in recent months as the industry ramps up production to help fuel rapid economic development. The country relies on coal for 70 per cent of its energy needs.

A mine disaster in the northern province of Hebei last month killed at least 91 people. An explosion at a mine in northeastern Heilongjiang province in November killed 171 workers.

China's mines are the world's deadliest with more than 6,000 miners dying in accidents last year, according to government statistics.

First Published: Jan 01, 2006 14:54 IST