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Coal Mine Accidents Kill 32 in 4 Days

Twenty-four miners were killed by poisonous gas in a colliery in Henan Province last night, and eight more died in two accidents over the weekend at privately-run coal mines in Shanxi Province that had previously been ordered to close.

A spokesperson from Henan's coal mine safety administration said today that 43 people were working underground at Xingfa Coal Mine in Wenshu Township, Yuzhou City at around 10:30 PM on Tuesday when the gas leak occurred.
Seventeen managed to escape, 24 have been confirmed dead and two are still missing. Provincial Vice Governor Shi Jichun was at the site to oversee rescue work.

Guo Yanlin, a Fenxi county government spokesperson, said yesterday that two villagers in Yong'an Township in Shanxi drowned on Saturday after stealing into a long-closed unauthorized pit without taking any protective measures.

In a second tragedy, six people were killed after a carbon monoxide leak at a coal mine in Changlianggou Township, Yuanping City at 9:30 PM on Sunday, said an official in charge of production safety called Fei.
Fei said families of the six dead would be paid 200,000 yuan (US$24,660) each, and the colliery owner is wanted by police since the mine had been told to shut by the local government in its bid to improve workplace safety.

(Xinhua News Agency August 3, 2005)

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