CHINA> Regional
17 miners confirmed killed in coal mine accidents
Updated: 2008-08-19 13:21

FAKU, Liaoning -- Rescuers on Tuesday confirmed 17 miners had been killed in two separate coal mine accidents in China on Monday.

Rescue workers who had been racing against the clock to save 23 miners trapped after a gas explosion at Baijiagou Coal Mine in Faku, a county in Liaoning Province, on Tuesday recovered eight bodies from the shaft, bringing the death toll to ten.

The explosion occurred at about 8:50 am while 81 miners were underground, said Lang Yaoyun, director of the provincial coal mine safety bureau.

Fourteen miners were brought out of the pit late on Monday and taken to hospital where two of them died.

Three of the injured were described as critical and five seriously hurt. They mostly sustained fractures, burns and respiratory tract injuries, said Xu Chengben, health bureau director of Faku County.

The fully-registered mine is a joint-stock company with an annual output of 100,000 tonnes. Established in 1976, it has 450 staff.

In the southern Yunnan Province, rescuers found the bodies of seven of the 10 miners trapped in a collapsed coal shaft in Mengla, a county on the Sino-Laotian border, on Monday.

Eight workers with Shanggang Hongyuan Coal Industry Co. Ltd., of Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, went down a transport tunnel to do repair work at 4:20 p.m. on Monday, according to local government officials.

Part of the tunnel collapsed during the repairs and trapped the workers. Two more workers then went down in an attempt to save the eight trapped workers, but failed to emerge.

Rescue operations at both sites are continuing.