China coal mine blast kills 24

/ Source: The Associated Press

An explosion triggered by a gas buildup in a coal mine in northern China killed 24 miners, the official Xinhua News Agency said Monday.

It was the third blast in the last several days in China, underscoring the danger in the country’s mines, where thousands of workers die each year in explosions, fires and floods.

Two explosions on Saturday killed at least 53 miners in separate incidents.

The latest blast occurred Sunday evening in the Luweitan Coal Mine in Linfen, a city in Shanxi province, Xinhua said. All 24 miners working in the shaft were killed, it said.

An initial investigation showed the explosion was caused by gas that had accumulated in the mineshaft during a power outage which caused the ventilation fans to stop working, Xinhua said.

No license
The mine had been operating without a license, the news agency said.

On Saturday, an explosion in the Yuanhua Coal Mine in Jixi, a city in northeast Heilongjiang province, killed 21 miners and left six others missing, Xinhua said.

In the southwestern province of Yunnan, at least 32 miners were killed in a gas explosion in a shaft in Fuyuan county, while another 28 were injured, it said.

World’s deadliest
Many accidents in China’s mines — the world’s deadliest — are caused by inattention to safety regulations and the lack of proper equipment. Officials haven’t commented on the causes for the two blasts on Saturday.