11 dead in northeast China mine accident
At least 11 people were killed in an accident at a coal mine in northeast China's Heilongjiang province today, state media said.
The incident took place at 2:40 pm local time (0640 GMT) at a mine outside the city of Shuangyashan in the province's east, about 130 kilometres (80 miles) from the Russian border, state broadcaster CCTV said.
"It was initially determined to have been caused by the impact of ground pressure," the report said, adding that an investigation into the cause of the accident was now underway.
As of 6:20 pm, 11 people were found to have died in the accident, CCTV said.
State media did not say if any others were missing or injured.
Coal production represents the main industry in the far northeastern city of Shuangyashan, where temperatures had dipped to -17 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) by 7:00 pm today.
Mining safety in China has improved in recent decades, as has media coverage of major incidents, many of which were once overlooked.
But accidents are still common in an industry with a poor safety record and where regulations are not necessarily enforced.
Last year, 245 people died in 168 accidents, according to official figures.
In September, at least 16 people were killed in a coal mine fire in southwest China's Guizhou province.
In February, a coal mine collapse in the northern Inner Mongolia region left dozens of people and vehicles buried under a mountain of debris.
Authorities did not disclose the final death toll for months, only saying in June that 53 people had died in the accident.