China mining accidentA gas leak in the coal mine in central China has left 31 people dead as rescue workers discovered five more bodies on Monday.  Six workers remain trapped, but rescuers view the chances of survival for those as slim.

There were 276 miners underground, working in the Henan province, when 173,500 cubic meters of gas leaked out into the mine. 239 of those workers managed to escape. After the gas leak 2500 metric tons of coal dust smothered the pit, making rescue attempts difficult and leaving miners trapped amid the gas.

The same mine saw an explosion in August of 2008 that took the lives of 23 miners.

The poor safety standards in the mines of China have left China with the deadliest record for mining accidents in the world. There are thousands of deaths each year in the country’s mining industry.

Last week it was announced that 1355 small mines in China have been closed this year in an effort to restructure the mining industry.