18 Dead, 5 Missing in China Mine Blast

Posted November 25th, 2012 at 2:25 am (UTC-5)
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China's official news agency says 18 people were killed and at least five remain missing after an explosion in a coal mine.

The Xinhua news agency reported that there were 28 workers underground Saturday in the state-owned Xiangshi coal mine in southeastern Guizhou province when the coal and gas explosion hit at about 11 a.m. local time ((0300 UTC). Xinhua said five of those were rescued.

Nearly 2,000 people died in coal mine accidents last year in China, where lax safety standards make the mines among the world's deadliest. But official statistics show the number of fatalities has been falling, dropping 19 percent between 2010 and 2011.