A gas explosion rocked a state-owned coal mine in central China's Hunan province, killing 29 workers in the latest in a slew of such accidents in the country.
A total of 35 miners were working in the Xialiuchong Coal Mine in Hengyang city when the mishap happened around 6 pm last evening. Six of the miners had been rescued and admitted to hospital, according to authorities.
The death toll reached 29 after rescuers located the body of a trapped worker, the official Xinhua news agency reported today.
Family members and other relatives of the coal mine workers, who were anxiously waiting at the site during the rescue operation, burst into tears after hearing the news of the death of 29 miners.
Luo Lin, head of the State Administration of Work Safety, and Xu Shousheng, Governor of Hunan Province, were involved in directing the rescue operation till this morning.
Xialiuchong Coal Mine, a 40-year-old mining enterprise located in Changjiang township in Hengshan county, is a legally-operating mine with more than 160 miners, according to Xinhua.
This was the second mine accident in the last three days that resulted in casualties due to gas burst.
Seven miners were killed and 11 others were missing after a gas outburst hit a coal mine in central China's Henan Province on October 27.
A spokesman with the provincial work safety authorities said the gas rush had happened shortly after the midnight, when 18 workers were operating underground at the Jiulishan Coal Mine in Jiaozuo.
Coal mine accidents continue to take place almost every week in energy-hungry China despite measures initiated by the government to increase the safety.