State media: China mine accident kills 17

Rescuers prepare to enter a coal pit to rescue trapped workers in Hengtai coal mine on August 24, 2011 in Qitaihe, China.

Story highlights

  • An investigation into the cause of the accident is under way
  • Mining accidents are common in China
  • Almost 2,500 miners were killed in mine accidents in 2010
The death toll in a coal mine accident in southwestern China has risen to 17, state media reported Wednesday.
When the rescue work concluded late Tuesday, a total of 14 bodies have been recovered as rescuers work at the scene after the "coal and gas outburst" that morning, according to China News Agency
The accident at the mine in Lihua Township in Libo County occurred just before 8 a.m., local Communist Party official Min Luming told Xinhua News Agency.
Twenty-eight miners were in the mineshaft at the time, 14 of whom escaped, Xinhua 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 government safety regulations. According to the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety, almost 2,500 miners were killed in mine accidents in 2010.