by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Sept 8, 2012
Ten miners have been killed in an accident in a coal mine in northwest China, state media said Saturday, a week after an explosion killed 45 miners in another part of the country.
The Xinhua news agency said the accident occurred at the Huacaoton Coal Mine in Shandan County of Gansu Province on Thursday evening, with the last body pulled from the mine early Saturday, according to a safety official.
The 10 workers fell off a platform when it overturned more than 200 metres (yards) above the bottom of the mine's shaft, which was flooded with water, the agency said.
Accidents in China's mines occur frequently.
Last week a gas explosion in a coal mine in the city of Panzhihua in Sichuan province killed 45 people, in the worst mining accident to hit the country this year.
China's mines are among the deadliest in the world due to lax regulation, corruption and inefficiency. Accidents are common because safety is often neglected by bosses seeking quick profits.
The latest official figures show 1,973 people died in coal mining accidents in China in 2011, a 19 percent fall on the previous year.
Labour rights groups, however, say the actual death toll is likely to be much higher, partly due to under-reporting of accidents as mine bosses seek to limit their economic losses and avoid punishment.
China is the world's biggest consumer of coal, relying on the fossil fuel for 70 percent of its growing energy needs.
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