Dozens dead in China mine explosion
December 2, 1996
Web posted at: 11:00 p.m. EST (0400 GMT)
BEIJING (CNN) -- A gas explosion tore through a coal mine in the suburbs of Datong in the Chinese province of Shanxi last week, authorities confirmed on Tuesday.
More than 90 bodies have been pulled from the coal mine, the coal minister of Shanxi province said.
A local newspaper, the Shanxi Daily, reported that the explosion in Dongcun mine happened at midday on November 27, and that as of Saturday 91 bodies had been pulled out. There is no word yet on how many miners were underground at the time.
Investigations into the precise cause of the gas explosion were still being carried out.
China has seen many "major" mining accidents in recent years, major meaning more than three people died in them. A gas explosion in a coal mine in Henan province in May killed 84 workers, and in June, two landslides in a Yunnan province gold mine left 227 dead or missing.
Last year, China had 529 major mining accidents. The total death toll, 3,362, was an increase of 8.3 percent over 1994.
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