Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Montreal Stories

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

More than half of French households will pay no income tax this year

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#IceBucketChallenge and hashtag activism

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users taking on the "Ice Bucket Challenge" to fight ALS

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

DEBATE

Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny (part 2)

Read more

  • Ex-PM Juppé announces bid for 2017 French presidential race

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • IS militants ‘behead’ missing US journalist in gruesome video

    Read more

  • Deadly airstrikes hit Gaza as ceasefire with Israel collapses

    Read more

  • Tentative peace in Ferguson despite second fatal shooting

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Iraqi army clashes with militants in Tikrit after retaking key dam

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

  • Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

    Read more

  • ‘Let it be’: Londoners sick of Abbey Road tourists

    Read more

  • Australia to free children from immigration detention centres

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Mine blast death toll rises to 104

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-23

The death toll from China's deadliest coal mine blast in two years has climbed to 104, local authorities have said, according to state media. News reports said four workers were still trapped in the mine shaft at Hegang city in northeast China.

AFP - The death toll from China's deadliest coal mine blast in two years has climbed to 104, local authorities said early Monday, according to state media.
   
The state-run Xinhua news agency said four workers were still trapped in the mine shaft at Hegang city in northeast China.
   
The explosion early Saturday tore through the state-run mine in Heilongjiang province near the Russian border, one of the largest and oldest in China, after a build-up of gas, survivors said.
   
The explosion occurred when a total of 528 miners were in the pit, according to the State Administration of Work Safety.
   
Local news reports said the blast was felt 10 kilometres (six miles) away.
   
The accident was the worst in energy-hungry China's notoriously dangerous mining industry since an explosion killed 105 miners in Shanxi province in December 2007.
   
On Saturday, President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao issued orders to take all measures to rescue workers at Hegang, while Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang was dispatched to the mine to oversee the operation, state media said.
   
The head, deputy head and chief engineer of the mine, which is run by the majority state-owned Heilongjiang Longmay Mining Holding Group, have been removed from their posts, the China News Service said.
   
The director of the work safety administration is to lead an investigation into the blast, it added.
   
China's state prosecutor will also launch a probe to determine whether criminal negligence led to the disaster, China Central Television said.
   
The mine produces 1.45 million tonnes of coal a year. The company ranked 12th out of China's top 100 mining companies and seventh in terms of production volume in 2009, according to its website.
   
China has a dismal work safety record, with thousands of people dying every year in mines, factories and on construction sites.
   
Its coal mines are among the most dangerous in the world, with safety standards often ignored in the quest for profits and the drive to meet surging demand for coal -- the source of about 70 percent of China's energy.
   
Official figures show that more than 3,200 workers died in collieries last year. But independent labour groups say the actual figure could be much higher, as accidents are often covered up to avoid costly mine shutdowns.
   
On Sunday, the provincial work safety bureau vowed to step up a reform of the industry and shut down small inefficient mines in the Heilongjiang region, Xinhua news agency said.

Date created : 2009-11-23

  • CHINA

    Mine blast kills 42, scores still trapped in debris

    Read more

  • MINING

    Round-up of fatal coal mining accidents in China since 2004

    Read more

COMMENT(S)