Sixteen killed in accident at state-owned coal mine in China

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Sixteen people were killed in a coal mine accident in Panzhou city in southern China's Guizhou province on Sunday, according to a filing by the mine's owner, Guizhou Panjiang Refined Coal Co, with the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Monday.

All coal mines in Panzhou city have suspending production for a day, according to Shanghai-based commodities consultancy Mysteel. Guizhou's mine safety administration told Reuters it did not have information on the situation.

The area has a total production capacity of about 52.5 million metric tons per year of mostly coking coal, representing about 5% of China's coking coal production capacity, according to Mysteel.

The state-owned company, also called Panjiang Coal, has ordered safety inspections at all of its mines and has taken measures to ensure safe production, the exchange filing added.

The company operates seven coal mines with a total capacity of about 17.3 million tons. The mine where the accident took place has an annual capacity of 3.1 million tons, according to Mysteel.

The accident follows a string of similar incidents in the country's coal mines, including a collapse at an open-pit mine in Inner Mongolia region in February that killed 53 people.

Authorities have announced a measures to improve safety in the sector, including restrictions on smaller mines and plans accelerate the use of automation underground.

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