Monday, November 28, 2005

Bad Month For The Chinese

Explosion in China Coal Mine Kills 68

By JOE McDONALD, Associated Press Writer
43 minutes ago

QITAIHE, China - Coal dust caught fire in a mine in northeast China, sparking an explosion that killed at least 68 people and left 79 missing, the government said Monday, as the country's leadership called for tighter work safety measures.

Some 221 miners were underground when the blast occurred late Sunday at the Dongfeng Coal mine in Qitaihe, a city in Heilongjiang province, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Seventy-four miners had been rescued by Monday, it said.

Outside the mine, distraught family members sought answers. Among them were four women, apparently relatives of missing miners, who stood at the mine's gates shouting at security guards to let them in. When they weren't allowed in, they became further agitated and screamed insults at the guards.

A stream of emergency vehicles with flashing lights traveled back and forth on the narrow road leading to the mine late Monday.

Coal mining is a key industry in depressed northeastern China, and huge of piles of waste rock from mining liter the landscape in Qitaihe.
Keep in mind that this is essentially the same area as the two chemical spills earlier this month.