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China mine lift collapse kills 26

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The mine where the incident happened

The collapse of two lift cages in a mine in central China has killed 26 men and injured five others.

The accident occurred in Lengshuijiang city in Hunan province when the lift brakes failed, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Production at the mine, which includes tin ore, antimony and zinc, has been suspended.

China's mining industry is notoriously dangerous, despite tighter government regulations aimed at upgrading safety.

CHINA'S WORST MINE DISASTERS
Feb 1950: Yiluo mine, Henan province - 174 dead
May 1960: Laobaidong mine, Shanxi province - 684 dead
Sept 2000: Muchonggou mine, Guizhou province - 162 dead
Nov 2004: Chenjiashan mine, Shaanxi province - 166 dead
Feb 2005: Sunjiawan mine, Liaoning province - 210 dead
Nov 2005: Dongfeng mine, Heilongjiang - 171 dead
Aug 2007: Xintai City, Shandong province - 181 dead
Dec 2007: Rui Zhiyuan mine, Shanxi province - 105 dead

The accident occurred at the Hsikwangshan Twinkling Star Antimony Company Number 2 mine.

The company describes itself as the world's largest producer of antimony - a chemical element used in the electronics, paints, rubber, ceramics, enamels and drugs industries.

It has been producing tin ore, antimony products and zinc since 1897, with a workforce of about 7,000.

At least 3,200 people died in China's coal mines last year, making them the deadliest in the world, although analysts estimate the figure to be much higher.

The central government has closed down a number of illegal and smaller mines in recent years to reduce the number of accidents.

But the policies of the government to improve safety are not always enforced at local levels.



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