An overnight blast near a workers’ dormitory killed at least 17 people Saturday at a coal mine in a city in northern China notorious for mining disasters.
The state-run Xinhua news agency said another seven people were seriously injured in the 2 a.m. blast at the Liugou mine in Linfen city in the province of Shanxi. The report cited a senior official with the mine’s owner, the Yangquan Coal Industry (Group) Co.
The official told Xinhua that explosives had been hidden illegally in the area and that police had detained one suspect.
It wasn’t clear whether the mine was licensed. China has been trying to improve the safety of its mining industry, which is by far the world’s deadliest, but an unknown number of illegal mines exist to profit off the country’s huge appetite for power.