China coal mine accident kills at least 10

China coal mine accident kills at least 10

Six missing as authorities pledge to launch more safety checks

An excavator loads coal onto a train in Pingdingshan in Henan province of central China. (Reuters File Photo)
An excavator loads coal onto a train in Pingdingshan in Henan province of central China. (Reuters File Photo)

SHANGHAI - At least 10 people have died and six are missing after a coal mine accident in the city of Pingdingshan in central China, the local emergency management agency said on Saturday.

Authorities vowed to continue rescue operations and launch city-wide safety checks.

A safety inspection campaign in coal-rich Pingdingshan, in Henan province, could disrupt coal production there and strain coal supplies.

Last November, coal prices in China jumped after the country’s cabinet vowed to ramp up safety checks as deaths from accidents in Shanxi, the top coal producing region, had risen sharply.

The Pingdingshan emergency management bureau said in a statement that the accident occurred around 2.55pm local time on Friday due to a coal and gas outburst at a mine owned by Pingdingshan Tianan Coal Mining.

As of 3pm Saturday, 10 people had been confirmed dead, and six were missing.

The agency said it would make concrete plans to rescue the missing and investigate the cause of the accident.

The official Xinhua news agency said a total of 425 people were working underground when the accident took place.

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