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Rescue efforts continue to save seventeen miners trapped in China's Liaoning Province. A blast on Thursday killed five of the workers, while the rest are underground.
High levels of gas concentrations have complicated rescue efforts.
[Fu Jianhua, Deputy Director of the State Administration of Work Safety]:
"Judging from the rescue efforts so far, the coal mine's underground conditions are still quite complicated. First, the gas concentration is very high. According to the test results, gas concentration reaches 20 percent and carbon monoxide concentration reaches 400 ppm. Plus, the roof has caved in for some areas, which makes rescue work even more difficult."
The private mine was suspended pending a safety check, but the owner resumed operations illegally. Since the accident, the owner has run away—a common move by panicked mine owners.
Mining in China is one of the deadliest occupations in the country, due to lax safety standards. Figures in 2010 state that 2,433 workers died in accidents, averaging more than six fatalities per day. Labor-rights groups estimate the real figure is even higher, due to under-reporting.