A gas blast on Wednesday evening in a coal mine in southwest China’s Sichuan province killed 19 miners and left 28 miners trapped underground, The Guardian reported. When the explosion took place yesterday, 152 miners were working underground at the Xiaojiawan Coal Mine in the coal-rich city of Panzhihua. According to Reuters, 16 miners died from carbon monoxide poisoning, while another three miners died at a hospital. The Panzhihua city government said that police have detained the executives of Zhengjin Industry and Trade, which owns the mine, for questioning. Coal mine accidents killed 1,973 people in China in 2011, 19% less than the previous year. The State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) plans to shut down over 600 small coal mines this year to improve safety.
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