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Dynamite blast kills 13 miners in Hunan

AT least 13 people were killed yesterday in a blast at a dynamite warehouse at a coal mine in Chenzhou City in central China's Hunan Province, a local official said.

Three injured workers were receiving emergency treatment late yesterday, according to Xie Guanghui, head of the Yongxing County government.

Xie said he didn't know if miners were still buried in the rubble, adding that the rescue operation was continuing.

The blast occurred at about 3:30pm at the Qingshanbei mine, leveling a three-story building where detonators and dynamite were stored.

One shareholder of the mine had been put under police investigation, and police were tracking other owners, Xie said.

Police said the detonators and dynamite may have been bought and stored illegally. An investigation is under way.

Also yesterday, prosecutors said that four people detained after a March 9 coal mine accident in which six workers died have been formally arrested in Jungar Banner in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The suspects were identified as Dan Hongyu, owner of the Luxinju Coal Mine; He Ping, deputy director of production; Wang Yaozhong, chief of the team hired to create an underground passage, and Liu Penghui, the contractor for the excavation project.

They are being charged with negligence that resulted in a serious accident, prosecutors said. The date of their trial was not announced.


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