Monday, September 24, 2012

17 Chinese Trapped in 2 Coal Mine Accidents

Chinese state media say two coal mine accidents have trapped 17 people underground.

The official Xinhua News Agency says a fire broke out Sunday in a mine in northeast Heilongjiang province, trapping 11. Two other people working in the mine were lifted out.

Xinhua says the mine's operating license had expired three weeks earlier and the county government is blaming illegal production for the accident.

Another mine in the same province was flooded on Saturday, trapping six miners.

Rescue efforts are under way.

China has the world's deadliest coal mining industry. Safety improvements have reduced deaths in recent years, but safety rules are often ignored and accidents are still common.

9 climbers killed, 6 missing in Nepal avalanche

An avalanche hit a team of climbers on a high Himalayan peak in Nepal on Sunday, leaving at least nine dead and six others missing, officials said. Many of the climbers were French or German.

Police official Basanta Bahadur Kuwar said the bodies of a Nepalese guide and a German man were recovered and that rescue pilots had spotted seven other bodies on the slopes of Mount Manaslu in northern Nepal, the eighth highest mountain in the world.

Ten other members of the team survived the avalanche but many were injured and were flown to hospitals by rescue helicopters, he said.

Rescue pilot Pasang said three injured French citizens and two Germans had been transported to hospitals in Katmandu.

He said rescuers were also attempting to bring the bodies of the dead back to the base camp.

Weather conditions were deteriorating and it was not possible to continue air searches of the mountain Sunday afternoon, Kuwar said.

The identities of the victims were still being confirmed.

The avalanche hit the climbers at a camp at 7,000 meters (22,960 feet) as they were preparing to head toward the summit, which is 8,156 meters (26,760 feet) high.

It is currently the beginning of Nepal's autumn mountaineering season.

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