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Dozens killed in latest mine blast

[ 2010-06-22 13:03]     字号 [] [] []  
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Forty-six were killed on Monday morning in China's latest coal mine disaster after explosives stored in the shaft went off, emitting toxic gas.

The blast hit the Xingdong No 2 coal mine at 1:40 am on Monday in Weidong district, Pingdingshan city of Central China's Henan province, according to local authorities. Some 75 miners were working underground when the blast occurred.

After the accident, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao directed rescue workers to "exhaust all means possible" to save the miners who were trapped. Among the trapped miners, 46 were later found dead and the other 28 emerged from the mine alive.

Five, however, were seriously injured and one is in critical condition, with major burns over most of his body, the municipal government of Pingdingshan said in a statement on Monday afternoon.

The rescue operation has ended and local authorities are holding the people who are believed to be responsible for the accident, the statement said, without detailing their identities. The coal mine was operating illegally as its mining license had expired early this month, the statement said.

Four local officials held responsible for the accident were removed from their government or Party positions on Monday afternoon, including Yun Jianjun, head of the district government and the highest-ranking official among the four, according to another statement by the city government.

Relatives of the miners gathered in front of the mine's gate on Monday morning, waiting for information about their loved ones, with some of them bursting into loud cries.

The cause of the explosion has yet to be revealed, and an investigation is underway. Li Jianwei, vice mayor of Pingdingshan, denied that another accident had struck the same mine in the past two months.

Coal mine disasters are not rare in Pingdingshan as coal mining constitutes one of the city's pillar industries. In September last year, a methane gas explosion at a coal mine in the city left 76 miners dead.

The death toll from coal mine accidents in China increased by 16.3 percent to 592 in the first quarter this year.


1. How many miners died?

2. What time did the blast occur?

3. What is the death toll from coal mine accidents in China in the first quarter of this year?


1. 46.

2. 1:40am.

3. 592.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Dozens killed in latest mine blast

About the broadcaster:

Dozens killed in latest mine blast

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.