The death toll from China’s worst coal mining accident in nearly three years has risen to 43, with three men still trapped underground.
A total of 154 miners were underground in the Xiaojiawan coal mine in Sichuan on Friday at 6pm, when a gas explosion occurred. Of the rescued miners, 50 are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. According to the official Xinhua News Agency, rescue efforts were hampered by the presence of the gas as well as high temperatures.
Figures from China's State Administration of Work Safety show there were 1,973 fatalities in coal mines in 2011, down from 2,433 in 2010. China accounts for one-third of the world’s coal production but four-fifths of the world’s coal mining deaths.
More than 70% of the energy consumed in China is fuelled by coal.
Image credit: LHOON via Flickr
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