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State media: China mine accident kills 16

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 2:40 PM EDT, Tue October 4, 2011
Rescuers prepare to enter a coal pit to rescue trapped workers in Hengtai coal mine on August 24, 2011 in Qitaihe, China.
Rescuers prepare to enter a coal pit to rescue trapped workers in Hengtai coal mine on August 24, 2011 in Qitaihe, China.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Three more bodies are found after a mine accident, state media reports
  • NEW: The hunt for two missing miners continues
  • Mining accidents are common in China

Beijing (CNN) -- The death toll in a coal mine accident in China's southwestern Guizhou province rose to 16 late Tuesday, after three more bodies were found, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Two miners are still missing at the Anping coal mine after the "coal and gas outburst" Tuesday, Xinhua reported, citing a spokesman for the provincial safety supervisory department. A number of bodies have been recovered as rescuers work at the scene.

The accident at the mine, located in Lihua Township in Libo County, occurred just before 8 a.m., local Communist Party official Min Luming told Xinhua earlier.

Twenty-eight miners were in the mineshaft at the time, of whom 13 escaped, the news agency quoted him as saying. Three of the miners who escaped later died of their injuries.

An investigation into the cause of the accident is under way, Xinhua said.

Mining accidents are not uncommon in China, as few mines follow the government's safety regulations. According to the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety, almost 2,500 miners were killed in mine accidents in 2010.

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