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12 dead in China after houses collapse into mine hole

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Oct 24, 2007
Twelve people were killed at a Chinese coal mine complex after their homes tumbled into a gaping hole created by the collapse of a transport tunnel, state press reported on Wednesday.

The five houses, part of the mine's residential area, collapsed on Monday as workers were trying to renovate and widen the tunnel directly underneath, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The accident occurred at the Yinying mine in the northern province of Shanxi, one of China's most important coal producing areas.

Xinhua gave no other details, other than to say the accident was being investigated.

China's coal mines are among the most dangerous in the world, as safety standards are ignored in the quest for profits and to meet the nation's booming energy demands.

More than 4,700 coal miners died in China last year, according to official figures. But independent labour groups say many accidents are covered up and the real death toll is closer to 20,000 annually.

Coal provides nearly nearly 70 percent of the energy needs in China, a nation of 1.3 billion people with an economy growing at double digit pace.

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China coal mine blaze kills three, traps 15
Beijing (AFP) Sept 23, 2007
Rescuers were struggling on Sunday to extinguish a three-day-old fire in a northern China coal mine that has killed three miners and left another 15 missing, state media reported.

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