China mining accident death toll rises to 13

China mining accident death toll rises to 13

BEIJING (AFP) : The death toll from an accident at a coal mine in central China has risen to 13, with three people still missing, the mine’s parent company said Sunday.

State media reported Saturday that a probable explosion had occurred the previous day at a mine in Pingdingshan, Henan province. The blast initially left 10 people dead and six missing, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Pingdingshan Tianan Coal Mining said in a stock market filing on Sunday that “so far 13 people have been confirmed dead” in the incident.

“Three other people remain missing and subject to all-out search and rescue efforts,” said the statement posted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange website.

The firm said the blast occurred at a subsidiary and it had halted production at more than a dozen mines “due to the current severe production safety situation”.

State news agency Xinhua said on Saturday that 425 people were working underground when the explosion happened.

Those in charge of the mine have been taken into custody by authorities, Xinhua said.

Mining safety in China has improved in recent decades, as has media coverage of major incidents, many of which were once overlooked.

However, accidents are still common in an industry with a poor safety record and where regulations are not necessarily enforced.