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Mine Disaster Rescue Operations Continue

As of Wednesday morning, 209 miners were confirmed dead, 29 injured and six missing in Monday afternoon's deadly coal mine gas explosion in Fuxin, Liaoning Province.


Zhang Yunfu, deputy general manager of the Fuxin Coal Industry Group, said the blast occurred at 3:03 PM Monday in a shaft about 242 meters underground at the Sunjiawan colliery's Haizhou mine.


According to Zhang, 330 of the 574 miners on duty escaped and 244 were trapped underground. Rescue efforts are continuing for the 12 who remain missing.


President Hu Jintao has directed the local governments to spare no effort to save the missing miners, and Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice Premier Huang Ju also instructed local officials to determine the cause of the accident and deal with the aftermath.


A work team led by State Councilor Hua Jianmin arrived at the accident site Tuesday morning to oversee rescue, recovery and compensation operations.


Medical experts have been dispatched by the Chinese Medical Sciences University's First Hospital in Shenyang, the provincial capital. They will assist in treating the injured, most of whom are at the Fuxin group's general hospital.


The Sunjiawan colliery employs 3,100 workers in two mines. The Haizhou mine produces 1.5 million tons of coal annually.





(Xinhua News Agency February 16, 2005)

203 Killed in Coal Mine Blast
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