Death toll in north China coal mine blast rises to 40

Tuesday, November 14th 2006, 10:06 pm
By: News On 6

BEIJING (AP) The death toll from a coal mine explosion in northern China rose to 40 after five more bodies were found, state media reported on Tuesday.

Seven miners were still missing in the pit of the Jiaojiazhai mine in Shanxi province's Xinzhou city after the November 5th gas blast, Xinhua News Agency said. The death toll stood at 35 on Monday.

In the same province, the death toll from a fire in another mine rose to 26 after rescuers recovered one more body. Eight more miners were still missing there, Xinhua said.

The fire in Lingshi county's Nanshan mine was caused by explosives stored in a shaft, the report said.

China's poorly regulated mining industry is the deadliest in the world, with about 6,000 people killed each year in explosions, floods, collapses or other disasters. Lax safety rules and poor safety procedures are often to blame.