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Death toll rises to 18 in Hunan colliery blast

DEATH toll has risen to 18 in a blast yesterday at a detonator and dynamite warehouse at a coal mine in Yongxing County of Chenzhou City, central China's Hunan Province, a local official confirmed today.

There are three injuries and two missing in the blast.

Police were hunting for three shareholders of the coal mine, and cause of the accident was being investigated, said Xie Guanghui, head of the Yongxing County government. One of the three had been put under control, Xie added.

The blast occurred at about 3:30pm at the Qingshanbei mine, leveling down the three-storey building where the detonators and dynamites were stored.

Police said the detonators and dynamites might be illegally bought and stored.


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