At least 12 people have died and another 32 are missing after a gas explosion at a coal mine in central China.
As many as 50 workers escaped but eight miners are known to have died and four people on the surface were killed as the blast destroyed a two-storey building at the entrance to the mine shaft.
The mine is in Yichaun county in Henan province, near the city of Luoyang. Rescuers are attempting to make contact with the 32 miners still missing underground.
This latest disaster came as salvage teams detected “signs of life” as they worked to save 153 miners trapped underground at a different mine in Shanxi province. It flooded when construction workers breached a wall to an adjacent disused shaft.
China has ordered the coordination or takeover of many private mines in order to better regulate them or at least prevent the simultaneous mining of a single seam by numerous companies.
But mining is still China’s most deadly industry. There were 2,600 fatalities last year compared with more than 3,000 in 2008.