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Mine Gas Explosion Kills 24 in Shanxi
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Twenty-four people were confirmed dead in a colliery gas blast Sunday in north China's coal-rich province of Shanxi, the local government said on Monday.

Rescuers had found all the bodies and completed rescue work Monday morning, said a spokesman with the provincial workplace safety administration.

He said the accident occurred at around 6:40 PM at Luweitan Colliery in Yaodu district in the city of Linfen.

Investigators said a power failure earlier Sunday afternoon had caused a breakdown of the pit's ventilation system.

Luweitan colliery is designed to produce 150,000 tons a year but its production permit and safety license have both expired. Police have detained the mine owner but its general manager has disappeared.

The past weekend has been tragic with two other  mine disasters killing at least 53 people.

Twenty-one miners were confirmed dead and six others missing in a coal mine gas blast Saturday in Jixi of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. In another tragedy 32 miners were killed and 28 injured in a colliery gas explosion in Fuyuan of southwest China's Yunnan Province.

(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2006)

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