34 miners killed in coal mine accidents in China

Beijing: At least 34 miners have died and nine others trapped in two separate coal mine accidents in China, officials said on Saturday.

Twenty-two miners were killed and nine others trapped in a gas explosion in a colliery in southwest China's Sichuan Province today, the country's work safety authorities said.

The accident occurred in the afternoon in Taozigou coal mine, Luxian County in the city of Luzhou when 108 miners were working underground, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Rescue work is underway.

Earlier, 12 miners were killed and two others injured in a colliery gas explosion in southwest China's Guizhou Province, local authorities said.

The accident happened yesterday in the Dashan coal mine in Pingba County when 30 people were in the mine, according to the Guizhou Provincial Administration of Work Safety.

Sixteen miners were lifted from the pit but ten others were found dead.

Four injured miners were rushed to hospital where two of them died from serious injuries.

Government authorities have ordered the closure of Dashan coal mine and a deputy county head who oversees the safety work in Pingba was suspended for further investigations.

Energy-hungry China's coal mines report scores of accidents every year with hundreds of casualties.

The accidents are often blamed on poor safety standards.