China says death toll in mine blast rises to 21

GUIYANG – Rescuers have recovered 21 bodies from a coal mine in southwest China’s Guizhou Province after a gas outburst Thursday evening, according to the rescue headquarters Friday.

A total of 31 miners were working in a shaft of Yuanyang Colliery when the accident occurred at about 9:40 p.m. in Puding County, Anshun City. Rescuers on Friday confirmed that 10 people had escaped either by themselves or with the help of rescuers.

“We arrived at the mine to carry out the rescue at midnight, and helped bring three of the survivors out of the shaft,” said a rescuer surnamed Zhao.

He said five of the 10 survivors were in hospital after being poisoned by carbon monoxide from the coal-gas outburst.

Wang Shuhe, deputy director of the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety, is on the way to the accident site.

Yuanyang Colliery is a private mine that was being upgraded at the time of the accident.


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