Death toll rises to 54 in central China colliery blast; 25 remain trapped

xin_1620906100843437680744A wounded miner of the Xinhua No. 4 coal mine is treated at a hospital in Pingdingshan City, central China’s Henan Province, on Sept. 9, 2009. A total of 93 people were working in the coal mine where a gas explosion happened Tuesday morning, leaving at least 42 dead.(Xinhua/Zhao Peng)

ZHENGZHOU, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) — The death toll from a coal mine gas explosion in central China’s Henan Province rose to 54 Tuesday morning, rescue headquarters said. Chances of survival for 25 miners trapped underground a week after the accident are slim. Rescue work is continuing, but is being hampered by heavy damage to narrow, ill-equipped mine shafts. The blast occurred about 1 a.m. last Tuesday in the Pingdingshan Coal Group’s Xinhua No. 4 pit in the Xinhua District of Pingdingshan City. A total of 93 people were working underground at the time of the blast, of whom 14 managed to escape. Qi Tongyan, deputy head of Xinhua District, and Pingdingshan coal industry administration official Zhang Xizhi, were dismissed from their posts 10 hours after the blast.


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