(AsiaNews/Agencies) - At least 16 men were trapped in a flooded coalmine in Hunan
(central China) in what is the latest accident to occur in an industry that
claims thousands of lives each year. Rescue teams have been at work since
yesterday but have not yet succeeded in freeing any of the miners.
is unclear why the mine flooded but it might be related to the start of the
has one of the highest numbers of mine accidents. Dozens of coal miners have
died in recent months in accidents.
latest government figures show that 1,973 people died in coal mining accidents
last year, a 19 per cent fall compared with a year earlier.
rights groups and Chinese researchers say the actual death toll is likely to be
much higher, partly due to under-reporting of accidents as mine bosses seek to
limit their economic losses, fines and mine closure.
is the world's biggest consumer of coal, relying on the fossil fuel for 70 per
cent of its growing energy needs.