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33 people trapped in Henan coal mine
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Local officials said that 33 people were trapped in a coal mine that flooded early Monday morning in central China's Henan Province.

Previous report said 34 people were trapped, but the Henan provincial government later revised the number to 33 after one more miner was rescued.

The incident happened at about 7:30 a.m in the Gaomendong Coal Mine in Jiaxian County, Pingdingshan City, as 42 miners were at work. Eight escaped but 34 others were trapped, according to the national work safety administration.

The cause of the flood is being investigated under the supervision of Wang Dexue, deputy director of the administration.

The Gaomendong Coal Mine is a legal colliery with a designed annual production of 60,000 tons, according to a press release of the provincial government.

Jiaxian is about 200 km southwest of Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. The county is rich in minerals with an estimated coal reserve of about 2 billion tons, according to the county website (www.jiaxian.gov.cn).

This is the third coal mine accident in Henan in less than three weeks.

Two people died and 19 others remain missing after an Oct. 30 flood in the Mazhuang mine of Jiyuan City. Four government officials, including the deputy director of Jiyuan's industrial and economic development bureau, were sacked over the incident.

Also, three miners were confirmed dead in a coal mine collapse in Yiyang County on Nov. 13.

(Xinhua News Agency November 17, 2008)

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