A firedamp explosion killed 28 people in a coal mine in central China on Saturday Octobet 29th. Thirty-five miners were working at the site of the Xialiuchong coal mine (霞流冲)in Hengyang of Hunan province at the time of the explosion. Six of them were rescued and hospitalized.
All bodies of the dead were removed from the site, announced state television. The explosion was caused by sparks from machinery which ignited the gas. The mine has operated for 40 years and employs 500 people. It is owned by the city and legally registered, but the provincial government had recently withdrawn its license due to inadequate safety measures, according to state television.
Mine accidents are common in China. In total 2,433 miners were killed last year in mine accidents in China, averaging more than six deaths per day. These official figures are probably largely underestimated, according to NGOs, many mines operating illegally and accidents are not always reported for fear of punishment or abandonment.