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22 trapped in China coal mine blast
December 13, 2013, 4:25 am

File Photo of a China coal mine [Xinhua]

File Photo of a China coal mine [Xinhua]

Atleast twenty-two people were trapped in a Chinese coal mine following a gas explosion in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region early Friday, local authorities said.

The explosion occurred at about 1:26 a.m. at the Baiyanggou coal mine in Hutubi county. 34 miners were working underground, the prefecture government said.

Twelve workers have managed to escape and twenty two others are still to be rescued, said a statement from the local government.

Rescue efforts are still underway, local media sites reported.

Workplace safety at the mines has been poor in recent Chinese history.

In 2011, China’s mine gas explosions caused 533 deaths, the highest in the world.

The Asian nation has large coal bed methane reserves of 36.8 trillion cubic metres, accounting for 15 per cent of the world’s total.

China’s annual coal output has already exceeded three billion tonnes, allowing for some 20 billion cubic metres of coal-bed gas into the air every year.

Statistics showed that coal accounts for 70 per cent of the gross energy output and consumption in China. The proportion of natural gas is 20 percentage points lower than the average level of the world, with unconventional gas even lower.


With inputs from Agencies