China mine explosion kills 15

AFP . Beijing | Update:

Map of China locating the northern province of Shanxi where a coal mine explosion killed 15 people on 18 November 2019. Photo: AFPA coal mine explosion killed 15 people in north China's Shanxi province, state media reported Tuesday.

Nine other people were injured by the gas explosion on Monday afternoon, which took place in a mine owned by Shangxi Pingyao Fengyan Coal & Coke Group Co, according to official news agency Xinhua.

Xinhua reported that 35 miners were working underground when the blast happened, but 11 miners were able to escape.

The injured miners were in stable condition and authorities were investigating the cause of the explosion, Xinhua said.

Deadly mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record.

At a meeting last week, the State Council -- China's cabinet -- ordered a "special crackdown on production-related safety issues" to "further improve workplace safety", Xinhua reported.

In December 2018, seven miners were killed in southwestern Chongqing municipality after the connecting segment of a mining skip broke and fell down a mine shaft.

In October 2018, 21 miners died in eastern Shandong province after pressure inside a mine caused rocks to fracture and break, blocking the tunnel and trapping the workers. Only one miner was rescued alive.

In December 2016, explosions in two separate coal mines in the Inner Mongolia region and in northeastern Heilongjiang province killed at least 59 people.

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