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China coal mine explosion kills 21 and traps 16

Bryan Alaspa's picture

Just a few days after the entire world, including China, witnessed the successful rescue of the 33 trapped Chilean miners, a coal mine explosion in China has killed 21 miners and trapped 16 more. The status of the trapped miners is still unknown. However, throughout the coal mines around the world China has the most dangers with 2,600 miners dying in 2009.

The explosion was evidently caused by a build up of dangerous gas. Apparently 21 miners were killed outright in the explosion. There are at least 16 miners still trapped beneath the ground. The story has not been covered by China news sources or television. Rescuers have reported trying to fight their way through choking coal dust to reach the trapped miners. The health and status of the trapped miners remains unclear.

Gas levels still dangerous

In addition to the lethal and choking coal dust rescuers claim that the gas levels are still so high that they are unable to reach or establish contact with the miners. The rescuers also say that there is still a risk from falling rocks due to damage in the mine from the explosion.

The explosion happened early in the morning. The news regarding the status of the Chilean miners was still being discussed even in China where the rescue effort was reported extensively on local Chinese television. There was discussion, by some, that perhaps China should learn something from the Chilean incident since it has generally been determined that China has some of the most dangerous mines in the world.

The mine, located in the Henan province is run by the state. The miners were drilling a hole in an attempt to alleviate pressure from a build up of gas. This was supposed to decrease the risk of an explosion. However, something caused a devastating explosion which, according to reports from mine officials, released 2,500 tons of coal dust.

What is unclear, in addition to whether or not the 16 remaining miners were injured or still alive, is how far underground they are.

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