18 killed in Chinese mine blast

Eighteen coal miners are dead and another five are still trapped underground after an explosion at a coal mine in Guizhou Province.

ANN reports the blast at the mine, part of the Guizhou Panjiang Group, occurred at around local time, with rescue efforts continuing into the night.

Chinese mines have a notoriously poor safety record, and are among the deadliest in the world with almost 2,000 workers killed in coal mining accidents last year.

In September, twenty Chinese coal workers died and another 14 were left injured after a locomotive carrying workers failed and slipped down a mine shaft.

Earlier this year the Chinese Government announced it would close hundreds of coal mines across the country to help build a safer mining sector.

Image: ANN

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