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Death toll rises to 6 from coal mine gas blast in Xinjiang

THE death toll from a coal mine gas blast in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region rose to six today after rescuers pronounced three people dead five days after they were trapped underground.

The explosion occurred at 9 am on June 30 at the Dihu Coal Mine in Shanshan County when five miners were working underground, according to the Xinjiang Autonomous Regional Coal Mine Safety Administration.

Eleven rescuers were dispatched to save the miners, but they were all trapped by more explosions and collapses, a spokesman for the administration said.

Finally, 10 people were pulled out of the coal mine alive, including eight injured. Three people were dead and three others missing, the spokesman said.

Rescuers had to give up searching for the missing people because of more explosions, fires and toxic gas underground, he said.

"The missing people had no chance of survival," he said, without identifying the victims. "We decided to look for their bodies after the fire dies out."

The injured people were being treated at a hospital in the regional capital of Urumqi and were in stable condition, he said.

All the coal mines in Shanshan County have been ordered to halt production for safety checks.


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