BEIJING Dec 13 A blast at a coal mine in
China's far-west Xinjiang province killed 21 people on Friday,
state agency Xinhua said.
The gas explosion initially trapped 34 workers at the
Baiyanggou coal mine. Thirteen were rescued by Friday afternoon
while the rest had died, the agency said, adding that
investigations were under way.
Although the toll from accidents has fallen, China's coal
mines are the deadliest in the world because of poor safety and
the rush to feed energy demand from the world's second-largest
The government plans to shut about 2,000 small coal mines by
2015 to improve safety standards.
(Reporting by Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)