China coal mine blast kills one, traps 18

A blast at a coal mine in northeastern China has killed one miner and trapped 18 others, state media said on Sunday.

The blast happened on Saturday evening at a privately-owned mine in Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang province, the official Xinhua news agency cited the provincial work safety administration as saying.

Rescue work was ongoing and authorities were investigating the cause of the accident, Xinhua said.

China's coal mines are the world's deadliest, with fatal accidents occurring almost on a daily basis as mine owners push production beyond safety limits in the face of soaring profits.

The central government has taken pains to clean up the sector and has tried to boost official accountability, but 3,069 coal miners died in the first 10 months of this year. (Reuters)
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