« Analysis: Week of 2/9 (Structures) | Main | NAACP Wants NY Post Cartoonist Fired »

Gas Explosion Kills 74 in China

Yahoo News has reported that 74 people have been killed and 114 are being hospitalized after a gas explosion at a coal mine in northern China. The official Xinhua News Agency said that 436 miners were in the coal mine at the time of the explosion.

All of the trapped miners had been found by late Sunday, the News Agency said. However it is unclear whether all the bodies have been recovered.

Shanxi Coking Coal Group is the owner of the mine. The company is China's largest producer of coking coal, second largest in the world. The mine produces 5 million tons of coking coal each year.

The death toll from the explosion is the highest in China since December 2007, when 105 miners were killed from a gas explosion in an unventilated tunnel in Linfen City, the State Administration of Work Safety said.

The New York Times said 3,200 people died in mining accidents in 2008, a 15 percent decrease from 2007.

Zhao Tiechui, a senior official in charge of coal mine supervision, said that coal mines often have the most serious accidents because a large number of them are operating illegally.

“The industry also sees the most frequent covering-up of accidents," Tiechui said.