September 5, 2008

Ten Killed in Southwest China Gas Blast

Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency)

[Xinhua: "1st Ld: Mine Gas Blast Toll Rises To 10 in Southwest China"]

CHENGDU, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) - The death toll from a coal mine gas blast in southwest China's Sichuan Province early on Friday has risen to 10 with eight still missing, rescuers said.

The gas blast occurred at 2:52 a.m. Friday in the mine of Jinhe Coal Mining Co., Ltd in Jiuqing Town, Xingwen County, when 44 miners were working underground, the Sichuan Provincial Work Safety Administration said.

Only 26 emerged from the pit after the accident, and rescuers are still searching the missing.

Sichuan's vice governor Li Chenyun has rushed to the site to direct rescue work.

The licensed township mine has an annual production capacity of 90,000 tonnes.

On Thursday, a mine gas explosion in northeastern Liaoning Province killed 27 people and injured six.

Originally published by Xinhua news agency, Beijing, in English 0417 5 Sep 08.

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