Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) — A coal-mine explosion in the northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang killed 42 miners and left 66 missing, Xinhua News Agency said on its Web site.
The explosion happened at 2:30 a.m. at Xinxing mine where 528 miners were working, the State Administration of Work Safety said on its Web site. Rescue efforts are under way, according to the statement.
The explosion destroyed the mine’s ventilation and communication system, making it difficult for rescue, China Central Television reported on its Web site.
China relies on coal to generate 80 percent of its electricity. A coal-mine explosion in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing on May 30 killed 30 workers and another coal- mine blast in Shanxi province on Feb. 22 left 74 miners dead, according to the government.
Xinxing mine, owned by Heilongjiang Longmei Mining Holding Group Co., has an annual production capacity of 1.45 million tons of coal, according to the statement.
China’s death toll from coal mine accidents fell 12 percent in the first seven months of this year from a year earlier after the government closed small pits to improve safety, according to Luo Lin, head of the State Administration of Work Safety.