September 4, 2008

China Mine Blast Toll Rises to 24

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

[Xinhua: "2nd Ld: Mine Explosion Kills 24 in Northeast China"]

SHENYANG, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) - Twenty-four people were killed and six injured on Thursday morning in a gas explosion at a coal mine in Fuxin, northeast China's Liaoning Province, according to local authorities.

Rescuers are searching for three other miners who were still trapped in the mine in Qinghe district of Fuxin.

The explosion took place at 9 a.m. when 41 miners were working in the mine, among whom 14 returned to the ground on their own, sources said.

The mine began operation in 1999 with an annual capacity of 40,000 tonnes.

Deputy director of State Administration of Coal Mine Safety Fu Jianhua and Liaoning Vice Governor Li Jia have rushed to the mine to guide rescue efforts.

Investigation into the cause is under way.

Originally published by Xinhua news agency, Beijing, in English 0931 4 Sep 08.

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