Death toll rises to 20 in coal mine blast
( 2003-12-09 09:48) (Xinhua)
The death toll increased to
20 on Monday from Sunday's coal mine explosion in Yuxian County in north Hebei
The gas blast occurred Sunday morning at the Longtai Coal Mine in Yuxian when
29 miners were working underground. Only nine miners escaped the disaster. Nine
miners were pulled out alive immediately after the explosion occurred, according
to Gao Zhanjun, deputy director of the Publicity Department of the Yuxian Party
Among the dead was the deputy manager of the mine and two gas technicians.
According to Gao, most of the miners were from local areas, while the rest were
from Henan, Shanxi and Sichuan provinces and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous
Officials with the provincial government have arrived at the site to monitor
rescue efforts and investigate the blast cause. The county has closed all mines
for safety check.
Built in 1999, the Longtai Coal Mine has an annual capacity of 50,000 tons.