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17 miners killed in China coal mine accident   

BEIJING: Chinese State media said that 17 coal miners were killed when a lift used to move workers fell down a shaft.

The Chinese coal mining industry has been highly accident-prone.

The accident occurred Thursday when a cable supporting a mining cage caught fire, causing the rig to tumble down into a state-operated coal mine in northeast China’s Heilongjiang province.

An operation to extract the trapped miners from the wreckage was launched at the time but rescue workers could not reach them until Monday, finding them all dead, Xinhua news agency said.

The mine, the Dongrong Second Mine under the Longmay Mining Holding Group, is located near the city of Shuangyashan. Two welders have been detained by police over “allegedly serious violations” of safety regulations, Xinhua said.

The mine’s manager also has been suspended from his post, it quoted the local government as saying. China is the world’s largest coal producer, and deadly accidents in mines are common.