China coal mine blast kills at least 13 workers

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say an explosion in a coal mine has killed at least 13 workers.

The official Xinhua News Agency says five other workers are missing after the blast Tuesday in a mine in the southwestern province of Guizhou.

It says 13 miners managed to escape, but three of those died in a hospital.

It did not give a cause for the blast.

China's coal mines are the most dangerous in the world, although the industry's safety record has improved greatly in recent years as smaller, illegal mines have been closed. Annual fatalities are now about one-third of the high of nearly 7,000 in 2002.