At Least 18 Die in China Coal Mine Fire
A fire in the Lisheng coal mine in Xiangtan, Hunan province, has killed at least 18 people:
Seventy workers were underground when the fire started and 43 managed to escape, (state media) said. Rescue workers were searching for the remaining nine, who were thought to be on another mining platform at least 2,000 feet (600 meters) underground, Xinhua said.
The fire was extinguished and the ventilation system was restored Tuesday, so there was a chance that some of the nine were still alive, it said.
China’s mining industry is the world’s deadliest, with most accidents blamed on poor safety as enterprises scramble to feed the country’s voracious demand for coal. In November, 108 miners were killed in a coal mine blast in northeast China. It was the country’s deadliest mining accident in two years.