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04 November 2011

Technological Disaster in China on Friday, 04 November, 2011 at 04:37 (04:37 AM) UTC.

Four miners died and 57 were left missing in a central China coal mine, an official said Friday, in the latest fatal mishap to hit the nation's notoriously dangerous mining industry. The accident occurred Thursday evening at the Qianqiu coal mine in Henan province, which belongs to the Henan Yima Coal Mine Group, a large state-owned mining firm, a company spokesman reported. According to the official Xinhua news agency, a rock burst -- or a sudden ejection of rocks -- occurred in the mine shaft, trapping the miners. "At present, four mine workers have been confirmed dead and there are still 57 others trapped in the mine shaft," said the spokesman, who refused to be named. "An intense search effort is ongoing." The rock burst happened moments after a 2.9 magnitude earthquake shook Henan's Sanmenxia city, where the mine is located. It was not immediately clear whether the earthquake directly caused the accident. The Henan coal mine safety bureau said 75 miners were in the mine shaft at the time and 14 managed to escape. The incident is the latest to hit the mining industry in China, and came days after a gas explosion in a state-owned coal mine in neighbouring Hunan province left 29 miners dead.

- RSOE