A gas explosion at a Chinese coal mine killed 74 miners and 32 are still missing, state media report.
This is the third major accident that has happened this year. In the weekly newsletter with prayer topics on China distributed by (www.prayforchina.com), it posted a urgent prayer request calling people to pray for the believers' safety in mining industry and that their service in churches and home can be both strengthened and powerful.
Last year, more than 6,000 miners were killed in fires, floods, cave-ins and explosions, making China's shafts the world's deadliest. The causes of the accidents are often attributed to corruption, lax safety rules and poor equipment
Wednesday's explosion occurred at the privately run Liuguantun Colliery in Tangshan, a city in Hebei province, an official with the Tangshan Coal Mine and Safety Bureau said to New York Times.
Eighty-two escaped on their own and 32 miners were immediately rescued but three of those later died, Xinhua reported. The bodies of 71 miners had been recovered from the mine by early Thursday bringing the death toll to 71, it said.
China has repeatedly announced its desire to change the mining industry conditions, but the booming economy has pushed up coal prices, putting mines under pressure to step up production, and mines often operate illegally.
Mine accidents are reported on a near-daily basis, some involving huge death tolls. The worst in recent years occurred in February in northeaster Liaoning province, when an explosion killed 214 miners.
On Tuesday, rescuers recovered the body of the last missing in a Nov. 27 blast in Heilongjiang province, also in the northeast, bringing the number of fatalities in that mishap to 171, according to New York Times.