China coal mine accident kills 12

Seven trapped miners have been confirmed dead after a gas outburst in a central China coal mine, bringing the death toll to 12.

Workers at the Xingyu Colliery were expanding a pipeway on Wednesday evening when a roof collapsed and triggered the gas outburst.

There were five confirmed deaths at the time while 39 of the 51 people underground managed to escape, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

It is unclear whether the workers died from falling rubble or from gas asphyxiation.

An initial investigation found the accident was triggered by human error, Xinhua cited local authorities as saying.

The Xingyu accident brings the death toll to over 100 over the past two months.

China is the world’s biggest coal producer, with the poorest safety record for miners.

Thousands are killed in the country every year due to inadequate safety measures and poor management – proportionally many more than elsewhere in the world.


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