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Two Colliery Gas Blasts Kill 53
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Thirty-two miners are confirmed dead and 28 more injured in a coal mine gas explosion in Fuyuan, a mountainous county in southwest China's Yunnan Province, local sources said Sunday.


The explosion took place at about 5:17 PM on Saturday at Changyuan Coal Mine in Housuo Township of Fuyuan, three and a half hours' bus ride from Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan.


Information from the headquarters in charge of the rescue operation said the operation was still going on, but the exact number of miners in the shaft when the gas explosion took place had not yet been verified.


All the injured are hospitalized.


The cause of the gas explosion is under investigation.


Changyuan Coal Mine, about 25 km away from the seat of Fuyuan County, is a privately owned business that came into being more than two years ago. The mine is said to have a coal reserve of 6.02 million tons.


Twenty-one miners have been confirmed dead and six more remained missing in Saturday's coal mine gas explosion in Jixi, a city in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.


By 7 AM Sunday, rescuers found the remains of 21 miners killed in the gas explosion of Yuanhua Coal Mine. Search and rescue efforts are still going on, said sources from the rescue headquarters for Yuanhua Coal Mine gas explosion.


The gas blast occurred at 1:50 PM Saturday when 31 miners were working in the shaft of the Yuanhua Coal Mine in Jixi City. Only four managed to escape.


There were miscalculations of both the number of miners who were working in the shaft when the gas explosion happened and that of the miners who escaped from the gas blast in previous reports.


Further investigation into the cause is underway.


The Yuanhua Coal Mine is privately-owned with an annual production capacity of 30,000 tons.


Jixi, about six hours' bus ride from Harbin, the provincial capital, is an important coal producing base in northeast China.


(Xinhua News Agency November 26, 2006)

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