Six killed in Mexico coal mine explosion

MEXICO CITY Sat Aug 4, 2012 12:41am EDT

1 of 2. Family members of miners stand outside the premises of a mining company in Coahuila August 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Six miners were killed in a coal mine collapse in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila on Friday, an emergency rescue team source on the site told Reuters.

One miner was rescued earlier, according to a separate report from the mine operator.

The explosion was triggered when a large amount of methane gas ignited, causing the collapse of 100 tonnes of coal, mine owner Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA) said in a statement.

Nearly 300 miners evacuated the mine without incident, the company said.

The explosion marks the second disaster at a small coal mine in northern Mexico in the past 10 days.

A July 25 explosion killed seven miners, highlighting lax safety conditions in small mines that are often poorly regulated.

Men have mined the largely unregulated, small "pozito" mines that dot Coahuila for more than a century.

A 2006 methane explosion at the much larger Piedras Negras mine, owned by Grupo Mexico, killed 65 miners.

(Reporting By Liz Diaz; Additional reporting and writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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