11 Missing in Chinese Mine Accident


The death toll from a coal mine explosion in central China's Henan Province has risen to 26 as five more bodies were found, according to state media on Monday, October 18.

Rescuers were battling to reach the 11 miners still trapped underground, but their chances of survival was very slim, official Xinhua news agency quoted a local official as saying.

More than 2,500 tons of coal dust smothered the pit after the blast, which hampered the rescue, said the report.

The accident, which occurred at 6 a.m. (2200 GMT) (6P-ET) on Friday, October 15 in a pit owned by Pingyu Coal & Electric Co Ltd based in Yuzhou city, comes in the wake of Chile's dramatic rescue of 33 miners trapped for more than two months underground.

China's mines are the deadliest in the world, due to lax safety standards and a rush to feed demand from a robust economy.

More than 2,600 people died in coal mine accidents in 2009 alone.

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