9 killed in coal mine explosion in southwest China

Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — A gas explosion at a coal mine in southwest China has killed nine miners and trapped dozens more.

China's official Xinhua News Agency says the Xiaojiawan coal mine in Sichuan province's coal-rich Panzhihua city exploded Wednesday evening with 152 miners inside.

Xinhua said Thursday that 38 miners remained trapped. It said six miners died inside the mine and the other three died at a hospital after being pulled to the surface.

The Panzhihua city government says the mine is owned by Zhengjin Industry and Trade Co. Ltd. and that the owners are in police custody for investigation.

Coal mine accidents are common in China, where work safety rules are often ignored. Last year, 1,973 miners were killed in coal mine accidents in the country.

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