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Two separate coal mine accidents kill 12 in China

BEIJING (Reuters) -Two separate coal mine accidents have killed 12 people in China over the last 24 hours, state broadcaster CCTV reported, the latest incidents to plague the industry after the government recently revised mining safety legislation.

An underground coal bunker owned by a firm in Zhongyang County, Shanxi province collapsed right before midnight on Monday, killing five people with two missing, CCTV said on Tuesday.

The bunker is owned by Taoyuan Xinlong Coal Industry Co Ltd and intense rescue efforts are ongoing, the outlet reported.

The fatal accident in Shanxi comes after its mining safety regulator issued a notice last month telling mines to curb overproduction to prevent accidents. China's top producing coal mine region saw a surge in deaths in 2023.

Separately, seven people were also found dead and two missing after a gas explosion at Huaihe Energy's coal mine in China's eastern Anhui province, CCTV reported late Monday evening.

In 2023, China had a string of deadly coal mine accidents, forcing the country's mine safety administration to revamp an existing law that an official said had "prominent problems".

Deadly coal mine accidents are not rare in China. Last month, 10 people died in an accident in Pingdingshan in central China, prompting safety checks by the local authorities.

(Reporting by Ella Cao, Ethan Wang, Ryan Woo, Colleen Howe and Shanghai newsroom; Writing by Bernard Orr; Editing by David Goodman and Michael Perry)