19 coal workers killed in China as gas explodes, leaks in two separate mines

BEIJING (AP) — Gas exploded at a Chinese coal mine Tuesday, killing 10 people and trapping seven just hours after lethal gas leaked into another coal mine and killed nine, state media said.

The gas explosion happened around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the southern province of Guizhou, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. The report had no other details.

The news agency earlier Tuesday reported that nine workers were killed and seven were trapped late Monday in a "gas outburst" at Sanyuandong Coal Mine in Dengfeng city in the central province of Henan.

Of the 127 miners underground at the time, 111 escaped unharmed, according to an official with the Zhengzhou Coal Industry Co. Ltd., which runs the Sanyuandong mine. The company could not be reached by phone.

Calls to the coal management bureau and the propaganda office of the Communist Party in the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, which oversees Dengfeng, rang unanswered.

China's mining industry is the world's deadliest, with accidents killing more than 2,600 miners throughout the country last year.

Over the weekend, 24 workers were trapped in a flooded mine in northeast China's Heilongjiang province, while a blast at a workers' dormitory at another mine in Linfen city in the northern province of Shanxi killed at least 17.