22 Nov 2009

China mining accident death toll reaches 87

4:05 pm on 22 November 2009

The death toll from China's latest coal mine disaster has reached 87 and hopes have dimmed that more survivors will be found a day after a gas blast at a colliery in the country's far northeast.

The official Xinhua news agency reported 528 workers were in the mine, at Hegang in Heilongjiang province, at the time of the blast, and 420 had been rescued by Sunday.

Some 21 miners remain trapped or unaccounted for.

The blast was so violent it shook the surrounding area and nearby buildings partly collapsed.

More than 3000 people died in mine floods, explosions, collapses and other accidents in China in 2008.