Gas blast at Chinese coal mine kills at least 30

Sat May 30, 2009 11:34am EDT

(Updates death toll)

BEIJING, May 30 (Reuters) - A gas explosion at a coal mine in southwestern China on Saturday killed at least 30 people, state media reported.

The blast occurred at the Tonghua coal mine in Chongqing municipality, according to the official Xinhua news agency, which said 101 miners were rescued, of whom 59 were injured, four seriously.

The Tonghua mine is affiliated with the state-owned Songzao Mining Bureau of Chongqing, it added.

About 3,000 workers were killed in Chinese coal mines in 2008. (Reporting by Jason Subler and Li Jiansheng)