China coal mine explosion kills 73 miners, injures 113 others

TAIYUAN, China (AP) âÄî A gas explosion ripped through a coal mine in northern China on Sunday, killing at least 73 miners and trapping dozens in the still-burning shaft, state media said. ChinaâÄôs mines are the worldâÄôs most dangerous with more than 3,000 deaths a year in fires, floods and explosions. The pre-dawn blast occurred while 436 workers were in the Tunlan Coal Mine in Gujiao city near Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province, the official Xinhua News Agency said. At least 73 miners died and 113 were hospitalized, including 21 in critical condition, Xinhua said. It did not say how many workers remained trapped in the shaft but earlier reports said at least 65 were still underground. State television CCTV showed rescuers in orange suits and red helmets with headlamps entering an elevator to be lowered into the mine shaft, while others emerged from the mine carrying workers on stretchers toward waiting ambulances.