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November 29, 2009

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Coal mine blast claims 10 victims

Ten workers were confirmed dead in a coal mine gas blast in southwest China's Guizhou Province, local authorities said yesterday.

The body of a missing worker was recovered in the shaft late Friday, said a spokesman with the Guizhou Provincial Work Safety Bureau.

The accident occurred at 11:23pm on Thursday at Zhenxing Coal Mine in Xingren County when 172 workers were working underground, the spokesman said.

Nine bodies were retrieved and one worker was reported missing as of 10am on Friday, he said. A total of 162 workers managed to escape. Three of them were injured by flying debris and were being treated at a county hospital.

Zhenxing Coal Mine, in the resource-rich Xingren County of Qianxinan Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, has an annual output of 600,000 tonnes.

In another accident, 16 miners were trapped in a coal mine in Meikou City of northeast Jilin Province after a flood on Friday, the provincial government confirmed yesterday.

The accident occurred about 1:55pm on Friday and rescue work continues, said the government source.

An expert rescue team led by Wang Shuhe, deputy director of the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety, has arrived at the site.

Rescuers said water and mud inside the mine increased the difficulty of their work.

The coal mine was run by the Zhonghe Township with an annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes.

Also yesterday, an official of the state-run coal mine in northeastern Heilongjiang Province, where 108 people were killed in a blast last Saturday, was removed from his post, according to a company spokesman.

Xu Zhengdong, deputy head of Xinxing Coal Mine and secretary of the mine's committee of Communist Party of China quit after the blast, taking management responsibility.

Three other officials were sacked the day of the accident, including coal mine boss Yue Chaosheng, his deputy and production safety supervisor Liu Zongtuan and chief engineer Dong Qinkui.

Safety officials and investigators blamed poor management and inadequate safety for the accident.


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