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Coal Mine Accident Kills 13, injures 6

A fatal coal and gas outburst at the Nantong Coal Mine in Chongqing Municipality, Southwest China, killed 13 miners and injured six others on Thursday.

Eight miners are still missing and six others were injured. The identities of the miners were not yet confirmed.

Workers barely had time to escape the estimated 2,210 tons of coal and more than 600,000 cubic meters of gas that poured over them, said An Yuanjie, an official with the State Administration of Work Safety Supervision.

Meanwhile, the mine quickly organized six rescue panels into the pits, said Jiang Lianfu, an employee at the Nantong Mining Bureau which oversees the mine.

The chance of survival for the missing miners are slim, An said.

Among the rescued survivors one was seriously hurt but stable while five were slightly injured, Jiang said.

He added investigations are being conducted by the bureau to find out what caused the blast and the extent of the damage.

It's possible poor ventilation equipment may have contributed to the accident, said a researcher with the China Coal Information Institute.

Headed by Mayor Bao Xuding, officials from concerned departments of Chongqing rushed to the accident site and visited the injured at hospital.

The mining bureau was ordered to stop production to improve conditions on Thursday night.

(China Daily February 2, 2002)

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