Coal mine explosion in Vietnam: 8 workers killed

Eight coal miners were killed when they apparently triggered a methane gas explosion in a mine tunnel in northern Vietnam, a company executive said Tuesday.

Rescuers recovered the bodies of the miners, aged 21 to 36, on Monday after a five-hour search following the explosion in Cam Pha District in Quang Ninh province, some 190 kilometers (120 miles) east of Hanoi, said Le Xuan Nhuong, administrative head of the Thong Nhat Coal Mine Company.

All the bodies were badly burned, he said.

Nhuong said the workers were only 15 minutes into their shift Monday morning when the accident occurred. An initial investigation showed that the miners may have struck a pocket of methane gas, triggering the explosion, he said.

Vietnam's worst mining accident occurred in 1999 in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam's main coal region, killing 19 workers, reports the AP.