18 people dead in coal mine explosion in China

BEIJING (AP) — A warehouse explosion killed 18 people and injured six at a coal mine in central China, state television said Saturday. The blast in remote mountainous Hunan province Friday afternoon also left two missing. Television footage showed the building was almost flattened by the blast, with a truck 50 meters away bent out of shape. The report said police are investigating whether explosives were stored illegally in the warehouse at the Daling mine in Yongxing county. One shareholder of the mine is already “under police control,” state-run CCTV reported, and authorities are seeking the other owners. Beijing has promised for years to improve mine safety, but China’s mining industry remains the world’s deadliest. A blast at the Tunlan coal mine in northern China’s Shanxi province killed 77 people in February, China’s worst industrial accident in a year.

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