Gas explosion at illegal mine in northern China leaves 20 dead
BEIJING - A gas explosion in an illegal mine in northern China has
killed at least 20 people, state media said Monday. Xinhua News Agency said the accident happened when miners were attempting to reopen an illegal mine in Shanxi province that the government had used explosives to close in 2004.
It gave no other details of the accident in Linfen city.
An official with the Shanxi provincial work safety bureau confirmed the accident but also gave no other details. She refused to give her name as is common among Chinese officials.
China's coal mines are the world's deadliest, with numerous fires, floods and other disasters every year despite repeated government promises to improve safety. Many of the accidents are in small, illegal mines where safety procedures are often ignored.
Just under 3,800 miners died in China last year, an average of about 10 a day.