Northeast China Coal Mine Catches Fire, 17 Die

March 6, 2008

Seventeen miners died following a coal mine fire in northeastern China, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The miners suffocated in the Jin’an coal mine in Dongliao county, Jilin province, following a fire that erupted underground, Xinhua said.

The fire was caused by the spontaneous combustion of coal, which caused a tunnel to collapse stranding the miners, Xinhua said.

The mine was a legal enterprise, Xinhua said.

China’s mining industry is the most dangerous in the world, averaging 13 deaths a day from fires, explosions and floods. Many of the accidents are blamed on mine owners who disregard safety rules and fail to invest in required ventilation, fire control and other equipment.

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