Local officials removed after Chinese mine accident kills 18

Authorities in southern China have removed six officials from their posts after a coal mine accident that killed 18 people.

The official Xinhua News Agency said late Monday that the officials removed include the deputy county chief. The news agency reported those responsible for the accident had been detained by police, although it was unclear if those were the same local officials.

Sunday's accident in Youxian County in Hunan Province was caused by a gas leak.

Xinhua says the mine manager and some people who participated in the rescue were among those killed.

Authorities said 37 rescued miners were sent to hospitals for treatment.

China is the world's largest coal producer and its mining industry has long been one of the world's deadliest, with hundreds of deaths annually.