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China coal mine explosion kills 11

February 03, 2012

An injured miner receives first aid in an ambulance at the Qianqiu Coal Mine. - AP Photo.

BEIJING: A gas explosion in a southwest China coal mine Friday killed 11 workers and injured six others, state press said in the latest accident to hit the nation's dangerous mining industry.

One worker remained missing after the explosion ripped through the Diaoyutai coal mine in Sichuan province Friday afternoon, Xinhua news agency reported.

The cause of the accident was under investigation.

Calls to the local government's work safety administration, which oversees mining, went unanswered late Friday.

The injured workers were being treated in a local hospital as rescue work continued into the night, Xinhua said.

In 2010, 2,433 people died in coal mining accidents in China, according to official statistics -- a rate of more than six workers per day -- but labour rights groups say the true figure may be much higher as mine companies cover up accidents to avoid fines and costly mine closures.