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October 16, 2009

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Death toll in explosion at coal mine rises to 12

THE death toll in Wednesday's coal mine explosion in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region has risen to 12, the local government said yesterday.

Two people remained missing and seven were in hospital - one of them with critical injuries, a workplace safety official said.

All the victims were employees of Sanxin Mechanical-Chemical Engineering Co Ltd in Ningxia, said Wei Liyang, chief of Ningxia's work safety bureau.

Wei said 22 workers were using dynamite to blast rocks in Dafeng Mine in Shizuishan City when the blast happened around 6:20pm. Only one of them escaped without injury.

Four workers died at the scene and four others died later in hospital. By 10:30am yesterday, rescuers had retrieved four more bodies.

Rescuers were searching for the missing workers within a radius of 150 meters of the site, according to Wei. An investigation is under way.


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