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20 Dead, 37 Still Trapped in N. China Coal Mine Blast
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Rescuers have found the bodies of 20 miners from a coalmine blast in north China's Shanxi Province Saturday, but 37 others are still missing, local officials said yesterday.


The blast at the Linjiazhuang Coal Mine in Lingshi County, Jinzhong City occurred at about 4:40 PM Saturday when 64 miners were working underground.


Only six managed to escape and another suffering from carbon-monoxide poisoning was found early on Sunday, according to An Zhenlu, the county's chief media officer.


Initial investigations showed that the coal dust explosion in the illegal colliery was triggered by an unauthorized explosion in an adjacent mine.


Further investigations are underway and rescuers are still trying to reach the trapped miners.


The municipal government of Jinzhong immediately launched a crackdown on all illegal mines, urging that all mining activities be performed in line with safety rules.


Li Yizhong, head of the State Administration of Work Safety, and Zhao Tiechui, head of the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety are on their way to the site to direct rescue work.


(Xinhua News Agency July 17, 2006)

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