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Thursday, 4 July, 2002, 05:20 GMT 06:20 UK
Fresh mine disasters hit China
More than 50 mine workers are feared dead in China, after two more accidents in the country's beleaguered mine industry, officials have reported.

The state new agency Xinhua reports that 39 miners are thought to have been killed after a gas explosion in a coal mine in the north-eastern province of Jilin.

News of the accident came shortly after it was announced that 15 miners had been trapped underground for two days by floods in the north-western province of Shaanxi.

Rescue workers were trying to save the men, but had not managed to install a pump to drain the mine.

Gas explosion

Correspondents say China's mining industry has a terrible safety record, with thousands of workers killed every year.

Thirty-nine miners were trapped after a powerful gas blast ripped through a coal pit in the town of Songshu in the Jilin province early on Thursday.

The Jilin explosion is the second such disaster in two weeks.

In the neighbouring province of Heilongjiang on 20 June, 115 coal miners were killed in a massive gas explosion.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
"A huge gas explosion tore through the mine"
See also:

02 Jul 02 | Asia-Pacific
21 Jun 02 | Asia-Pacific
10 Apr 02 | Asia-Pacific
17 Jan 02 | Asia-Pacific
15 Jan 02 | Asia-Pacific
04 Aug 01 | Asia-Pacific
23 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
28 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
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