Eleven dead in coal mine blast in N China

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Photo taken on late night of Aug. 24, 2009 shows rescuers set wind tube to a pit where a blast took place in a coal mine in Heshun County, north China’s Shanxi Province, as rescue works are undergoing. Eleven people have been killed, three are missing and two survived following a gas blast in the Xingguang Coal Company Ltd. here at about 11:10 a.m. Monday, the local authorities said. (Xinhua/Yan Yan)

JINZHONG, Shanxi Province, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) — At least 11 people are dead and three are missing after a coal mine gas blast Monday in Shanxi Province, the local coal industry authority said.

The explosion ripped through a shaft of the Xingguang Coal Industry Co. Ltd. in Jinzhong City at 11:10 a.m. when 16 miners were working around the area, according to the Coal Industry Administration of Shanxi.

Rescuers lifted two workers to the ground, and recovered 11 bodies.

The blast widened the small entrance of the shaft to hole about4 meters in diameter.

More than 40 rescuers will work overnight to try to send a pipe into the 300-meter-deep shaft to increase ventilation and dilute gas underground.

Experts are expected to work out a rescue plan Tuesday before sending rescuers underground.

The mine, with a reserve of 203 million tonnes, is part of the Shanxi International Electricity Group Limited Company. It began an approved infrastructure construction in May in an effort to increase its annual production capacity to 1.2 million tonnes from the present 300,000 tonnes.

Officials with the administration and the provincial work safety watchdog are investigating the accident.



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