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Underground explosion kills 21 Chinese miners

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Twenty one miners have been killed in an underground coal mine explosion in China.

The blast occurred on Friday morning in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

At the time 34 miners were working along a seam when the blast occurred, with 12 managing to escape immediately, however it trapped 22 miners underground.

Underground safety experts were quickly sent in to assess whether rescue teams could enter the mine, however the subsequent search and rescue teams only found one survivor.

China has one of the worst safety records for coal mining in the world, with around 35 workers killed for every 100 million tonnes of coal.

This new underground explosion is just the latest in a series of deadly incidents which have rocked China's coal industry over the last two years.

In this year alone there have been a number of coal mine explosions and fires, with two separate incidents in March alone, one in China's southwest and the other in the north killing 21 and 11 people respectively.

In May another fatal explosion killed 27coal miners, while poisonous gases killed five in a pyrite mine in September.

Very few people have punished for the high number of fatal incidents in China, although the Sichuan province took unusual action in June, reprimanded 34 officials for a deadly gas explosion, including  mayor and deputy mayor.

Last year the situation reached a head when the Chinese Government announced it would be shutting 600 coal mines in an effort to ensure a safer coal mining industry.



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