Coal mine blast kills 17 in central China

CHENZHOU, Hunan province, May 30 (Xinhua) — Seventeen miners were killed and one injured in an explosion in a coal mine in central China’s Hunan Province Saturday, work safety watchdog said Sunday.

Dynamite stored at the Shuguang Coal Mine in Rucheng County, Chenzhou City, exploded at about 4 p.m. Saturday, generating the huge amounts of toxic gas that killed the underground workers, a spokesman with the provincial administration of coal mine safety said.

The mine began operations in 1971 and expanded its capacity in 2008.

Police and work safety officials were investigating the cause of the blast.

Xinhua reporters are heading to the scene.


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