Explosion kills 21 at coal mine in northern China
An explosion killed at least 21 people at a
coal mine in the northern Chinese city of Datong, state media said Sunday.
The explosion trapped the miners underground on Saturday at the state-run Wujiu Coal Mine in Datong's southern district, the semi- official China News Service said.
Seven miners escaped after the blast and rescuers pulled out four others alive, the agency said.
A preliminary investigation suggested that either a build-up of gas or spontaneous ignition of coal dust caused the explosion, other reports said.
The mine was fully licensed to produce up to 150,000 tons of coal annually, the agency said.
Datong is one of China's biggest coal production centres, and notorious for its black streets and air pollution.
Accidents kill an estimated 10,000 people annually in Chinese mines. The accidents are often triggered by outdated equipment and poor safety measures, with many occurring at illegal mines, dpa reported.