October 31, 2008

3 Die in China Mine Explosion

China was hit by three separate coal mine disasters on the same day, with at least four workers confirmed dead.

All three disasters occurred Wednesday, two of them in northwest Shaanxi Province and the third in central Henan Province, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The bodies of three workers were retrieved Friday while another 26 remained missing after a gas explosion in a shaft in the state-owned Yaotou mine in Shaanxi Province's Chengcheng County, the report said. Seven workers managed to escape.

The facility had been closed for repairs since it was flooded Oct. 3, a rescue worker said.

"Drainage and repair work was still going on when the explosion occurred on Wednesday," he was quoted as saying.

Seven miners were trapped after a pit in another colliery in the same Shaanxi Province was flooded Wednesday, the report said. The colliery in Henan Province also got flooded Wednesday, killing one miner and trapping 20 more.

Rescue operations continued Friday at all three mines.