Death toll in Chinese mine accident rises to 32

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The death toll from a gas leak in a coal mine in southwest China has risen to 32, the Xinhua news agency said on Friday.
BEIJING, November 9 (RIA Novosti) - The death toll from a gas leak in a coal mine in southwest China has risen to 32, the Xinhua news agency said on Friday.

The accident occurred on Thursday afternoon, when 86 miners were working in the mine. Shortly after the accident, 31 dead bodies were lifted from the mine shaft, and some 52 workers were rescued. One of the initial survivors died in intensive care on Friday morning, bringing the total death toll to 32.

Three miners are still missing, and Xinhua quotes a rescuer as saying that they "have a slim chance of survival".

Following the disaster, local authorities ordered all mines in the region to suspend production in order to carry out safety checks.

The Chinese coal mining industry is considered one of the world's most dangerous, and accidents are common at this time of year as coal producers attempt to enhance their output capacity in the run-up to the winter period.

According to Chinese government statistics a total of 1,920 coal mine accidents, in which 3,069 miners died, were registered in China from January to October 2007.

An average of 13 miners die every day in Chinese mines.

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