Eighteen workers killed by gas leak in coal mine accident in China’s Hunan province

Eighteen workers killed by gas leak in coal mine accident in China's Hunan province

Beijing, May 8 : Eighteen workers were killed in a coal mine accident in central Chinas Hunan Province, local authorities said today.

As many as 55 people were working in the mining shaft when a gas leak took place at the Jilinqiao colliery in Huangfengqiao Township, Youxian County yesterday.

The rescuers brought the remaining 37 miners to safety and rushed them to hospital, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Investigators are still testing substances in the poisonous gas. Police have detained those responsible for accident pending investigation

China, which is the worlds largest coal producer, witnesses frequent deadly accidents in mines.

In March, seventeen coal miners were killed when a lift used to move workers fell down a shaft in northeastern Heilongjiang province

According to China’s state-run news agency Xinhua, authorities detained an unspecified number of people as part of an investigation into the incident.

China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal but its mining industry is also renowned for being one of the world’s deadliest.

China’s deadly mining industry

While China’s government has tried to raise industry standards by ordering the shuttering of older, smaller mines, accidents are still common and hundreds of miners continue to die while on the job.

The last major incident, in March, saw 17 coal miners killed when an elevator fell down a mine shaft in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province.

Last December, at least 59 people died following explosions in two separate coalmines, one in the Inner Mongolia region and the other also in Heilongjiang. In October, 33 miners were killedin a colliery explosion in southwestern Chongqing.

According to the most recent official figures, 768 people died in coal mining accidents in 2015 – a tragically large number but markedly fewer than the nearly 6,000 deaths reported in 2005.