BEIJING (AP) - Ten coal miners have been killed in a gas explosion inside their shaft in northwestern China.
The official Xinhua News Agency says the explosion Saturday left the shaft outside the Xinjiang regional capital of Urumqi filled with poisonous gas that had to be pumped out before bodies could be recovered.
Xinhua says in Monday's report that the cause of the blast is under investigation, but such explosions are a frequent cause of death in Chinese mines, where proper ventilation and other safety features are often lacking.
China's insatiable demand for coal to fuel its economy prompts many mine operators to skirt safety rules to maximize production.
More than 2,600 people died in mining accidents in China in 2009, though deaths have decreased in recent years.
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