A gas explosion has trapped 11 Chinese coal miners underground, after 53 miners were killed in two similar blasts last week. The state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that the Monday night explosion occurred at a mine in central China’s Hubei province. It did not provide details on what caused the blast, but such incidents usually happen when unventilated coal gas is ignited by a spark or open flame.
It’s the third major mining accident in one week for China, the world’s top producer and consumer of coal.
China announced the firings of safety officials after a Dec. 3 blast in Inner Mongolia that killed 32, and the arrests of mine operators after 21 miners were found dead in Heilongjiang province.