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18 Chinese miners die in coal-gas explosion

Saturday - 11/24/2012, 1:15pm  ET

BEIJING (AP) -- A coal mine accident in China's southwest killed 18 workers and trapped five more on Saturday, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

There were 28 workers working in the state-owned Xiangshui coalmine in Guizhou province when the coal-and-gas explosion happened about 11 a.m., and five of those were rescued, Xinhua said. No other details were immediately available.

China has the world's deadliest coal mine industry, with 1,973 miners killed in accidents last year.

Safety improvements have reduced deaths in recent years, but regulations are often ignored and accidents are still common.

In August, a mine blast in southwestern China's Sichuan province killed 44 people, the highest single accident toll for the industry in nearly three years.

In September, 20 miners died after a steel cable broke in a coalmine in northwestern China's Gansu province.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.