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Rescuers prepare to go underground after the explosion at the state-run mine in central China. Zhu Xiang/AP/Press Association Images
Gas Explosion

Death toll rises after mine gas leak in China

Rescuers continue to search for missing men trapped underground.

THE DEATH TOLL FOLLOWING a major gas leak and explosion in a mine in central China has climbed to 26, according to Chinese state media.

Over 230 workers managed to escape from the state-run mine located in the Henan province.

Rescuers are working to reach the 11 miners still trapped below ground, but the deputy chief of the rescue efforts says the chances to save the men are very slim.

Du Bo said an estimated 2,500 tonnes of coal dust rushed into the pit after the gas leak: “Based upon past experience, the remaining 11 miners could be buried in coal dust, so the survival chances are frail”.

The accident occurred just days after reports that Chinese officials closed 1,611 illegal coal mines this year in an effort to clean up its mining industry, which is the most dangerous in the world.

The BBC reports that over 2,600 people died in mining accidents in China last year.

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