08/30/2012, 00.00
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Sichuan, 19 miners killed, 28 still trapped in a tunnel

The disaster caused by a gas explosion, while 150 people were working in the tunnel. Of the victims, 16 already dead, three other miners died in hospital from gas fumes. The exact number of the dead in mine accidents unknown because many are covered up.

Chengdu (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Nineteen miners were killed and at least 28 are still trapped in a coal mine in Panzhihua (Sichuan). The disaster, according to Xinhua, happened last night when there was a gas explosion in a tunnel where 150 miners were working.

The rescue teams have said that 107 people this morning were rescued, the bodies of 16 miners killed by gas fumes were also recovered, three others died after their transport to hospital.

The mine is owned by the Zhengjin Industry and Trade Co., Ltd, its managers were questioned by police.

According to the latest government statistics, last year 1,973 people died in accidents in coal mines, with a drop of 19% over the previous year. But human rights groups and private Chinese scholars say the figure is much higher: many owners of the mines, in fact, do not report incidents for fear of economic losses, fines, plant closures. Very often local authorities are corrupted by bribes to turn a blind eye to the lack of security policies.

China is the largest consumer of coal in the world and relies on it for 70% of its ever-growing energy needs.


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Mine blast in Shanxi leaves 74 dead, hundreds injured
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Heilongjiang, 104 die in mine explosion. Police arrest relatives of victims
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