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Colliery Accidents in Jilin, Shanxi Provinces
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Forty-five miners involved in a coal mine gas poisoning in north China's Shanxi Province have been rescued, but one died in hospital.

Previous reports quoted local government officials as saying that 34 miners were working underground when the accident happened at the Danangou Coal Mine in Datong at noon yesterday, and that 11 miners had been rescued, with the others still trapped in the coal mine.

However, Zhang Riming, head of the accident's rescue headquarters, told Xinhua News Agency that rescuers had hoisted up 45 trapped miners so far with one casualty. "We have to make further investigations to see if there are any others still trapped underground," he said.

Local police are verifying the number of the miners who worked in the mine.

Professional fault was blamed for the gas poisoning. "The miners failed to carry out production according to the mining map and they might have accidentally opened up the gas pool," said Zhang.

Most of the workers are from Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces.

The mine owner, also injured in the accident, was already under the surveillance of the local public security department.

Early on Wednesday morning, flooding trapped 15 miners in another coal mine in Tonghua City of northeastern Jilin Province. Eight of the trapped were rescued early this morning, according to the local work safety supervision administration.

The rescuers are trying to reach the other seven who remain trapped.

The accident occurred at around 5 AM yesterday at the Xiren Coal Mine in Tonghua's Wudaojiang Town where 19 miners were working underground. Four managed to escape, according to Yuan Yuqing, deputy director of the Jilin Provincial Coal Industry Bureau.

The eight were rushed to a local hospital immediately after being rescued at 4 AM and are in stable conditions. Two of them are local villagers and the rest six are from Sichuan.

It is reported that five pumps have been pumping out water since 2 PM yesterday.

Both of privately-owned coal mines are fully legal, possessing all required local government operating licenses. With an annual production of 90,000 and 30,000 tons respectively, Danangou Coal Mine in Shanxi and Xiren Coal Mine in Jilin have no prior recorded accidents.

Investigations into the causes of both accidents are underway.

(Xinhua News Agency September 14, 2006)

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