Beijing: At least 13 more miners were killed and two others have gone missing after a gas explosion hit yet another coal mine in China on Sunday taking the death toll in this week`s mine accidents to 57.
Thirteen have been confirmed dead, and two others are still missing, after an explosion hit a coal mine in Jiangxi Province today, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The second mine accident this week took place as the death toll from Wednesday`s colliery blast in Sichuan Province has climbed to 44 as one more body was recovered.
The two miners from today`s accident remain trapped in the Xiaojiawan Coal Mine in Panzhihua City, some 750 km southwest of Chengdu, the provincial capital.
The mine was struck by a gas blast trapping about a third of the 154 miners who were working underground.
Fifty four workers were injured, 17 of them serious.
As the mine accidents continued to recur, the Chinese government mulled closure of 625 small coal mines across the country for safety reasons.
An official spokesman Huang Yi, said earlier that coal mining remains a high-risk industry in the country despite improvements over the past decade.
Yi said studies showed that 35 workers are currently killed in coal mines in China for every 100 million tonnes of coal output in the country, about 10 times the death rate in United States.
Government data showed that 1,973 miners were killed in coal mine accidents in 2011.
Small coal mines, which account for about 85 per cent of the nation`s 12,000 mines accounting for one third of the output, caused two thirds of all deaths in the sector due to poor safety provisions, he said.
China aims to close another 625 small coal mines this year in an attempt to reduce the number of deadly accidents, Yi said.