China coal mine blast kills 68

From time to time we comment on Chinese workplace safety issues. Here’s another case …

Reuters

An explosion ripped through a state-owned colliery in northeast China, killing 68 miners and trapping 79 underground, just days after Chinese leaders called for vigilance to prevent major accidents.

The blast late on Sunday was the latest disaster to strike Heilongjiang, whose capital city, Harbin, was held hostage for five days by a toxic spill coursing through the Songhua river that provides its water supply, forcing a shut-down of tap water.

Later, Reuters reported 36 still trapped.

A few minutes ago, a report from a Turkish source implied the trapped 34 were lost:

Mine Accident Death Toll Rises in China to 134 from Zaman.com in Turkey

According to the official Chinese news agency, Shinhua, there are still 15 mine workers missing.

Some background: China’s Deadliest Mining Disasters

And this, of course, is part of the problem:

Families compensated for lives lost in north China mine mishap

Families of the 33 miners killed in the plaster mine cave-in in north China’s Hebei Province on Nov. 6 have been compensated 170,000 yuan (US$21,400) for each victim, the local source said.

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