Dozens Trapped In China Coal Mine

Dozens of miners have been trapped in a coal mine in China after a "rock burst", officials say. Four miners were killed and 50 more are missing after the accident, which happened late on Thursday in the city of Sanmenxia in Henan province. State media reported that the rock burst - an explosion caused by the sudden release of built-up pressure - happened shortly after an earthquake. Hundreds of Chinese miners die every year in pit accidents. The industry is one of the most dangerous in the world, and is notorious for its lax safety standards. Earlier this week a gas explosion at a mine in neighbouring Hunan province killed 29 people. But officials insist the country's record is improving, and say they have taken action by closing many illegal mines. A spokesman for the state-run Yima Coal Group, which runs the Sanmenxia mine, told the AFP news agency an "intense search" was going on for the missing miners. Local safety officials said 75 miners had been working in the pit at the time of the explosion. Some 14 had managed to escape, four had been confirmed killed. Rescuers told state-run Xinhua news agency they had saved seven miners, leaving 50 others trapped. Xinhua reported that a small quake had hit the area shortly before the rock burst, but it was not clear whether the tremor had sparked the explosion.