Five die, 17 missing in Yunnan mine

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 February, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 February, 2005, 12:00am

At least five miners died and 17 more are missing after another coal mine explosion - in Yunnan province - just a day after the Fuxin disaster.

The blast happened at an illegal mine in Fuyuan county, Qujing city , on Tuesday afternoon, Xinhua said yesterday. Fifteen workers were injured. Rescuers were continuing to search for the missing miners, and the number of casualties might rise.

Xu Jianan , deputy director of the Yunnan Bureau of Coal Mine Safety Supervision, said all mines would be inspected before production was allowed to resume.

'[We are not examining them] just because of this incident. But this is a lesson and we are paying more attention,' Mr Xu said.

'The mine is definitely an illegal one. We don't know how long it has been in operation. If we had known about it, it would definitely have been closed down.'