Accident in Chinese coal mine traps; death toll up to 72 in other disaster
An accident Monday at a coal mine in northern China trapped 11 miners, while the death toll in an explosion at another mine rose to 72 after grieving families forced authorities to reopen a search for missing miners, the government said.
The accident Monday occurred at the Tashan Mine in the northern city of Datong, a centre of China's coal industry, the official Xinhua News Agency said. It said the disaster was caused by a shock to the mine, but gave no details. China's mines suffer thousands of deaths a year in fires, cave-ins and other accidents, despite a national safety crackdown.
Fatalities often are blamed on indifference to safety rules or lack of required equipment.
In the other accident, the bodies of three more people killed in a March 19 blast at the Xishui Mine in the northern city of Shuozhou were found during the weekend, Xinhua said.
Authorities called off a search on March 22 after finding 69 bodies but relatives who complained that their family members were still missing lobbied them to keep looking, Xinhua said.
It blamed the failure to find all the bodies earlier on management confusion at the mine, which was operating illegally after being ordered in November to shut down because of safety violations.
The mine's owners have been detained.
The blast also brought down a wall in a nearby mine, killing miners there as well.