China mine death toll up to 106: Spokesman

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 09:18

Hegang (China): Rescuers have found two more
bodies in a coal mine in north-eastern China that was hit by a
massive gas blast, bringing the confirmed death toll to 106, a
mine spokesman told agency on Wednesday.

The new toll makes Saturday`s tragedy in the city of
Hegang in northeastern China the deadliest reported accident
in the country`s disaster-prone mining industry for more than
four years.
Officials had previously confirmed 104 people dead and
four missing but a spokesman for the majority state-owned
Xinxing mine said two bodies were recovered early this
morning.

"We have found two of the missing people," spokesman
Zhang Jinguang told agency.

He said rescuers were still trying to reach the other two
missing miners to confirm their fate but the leader of the
rescue effort, Zhang Fucheng, had already yesterday that they
were "definitely dead".
The recovery of the two bodies makes the disaster the
deadliest in China since 123 people were killed when a mine in
southern Guangdong province flooded in August 2005.

Relatives of victims killed and hurt in Saturday`s blast
have angrily demanded answers about the disaster as officials
said a preliminary probe pointed to poor management at the
mine, one of China`s oldest and largest.

PTI




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