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Second Mine Blast in Two Days Takes Toll

The remains of 206 miners killed in Monday's coal mine gas explosion in Fuxin City, northeast China's Liaoning Province, have been brought to the surface, rescuers said on Wednesday.

The confirmed death toll has risen to 212, with 29 others injured and three more still missing, according to the headquarters dealing with the aftermath of the tragedy.

The blast occurred at about 3:00 PM Monday, 242 meters underground in the Haizhou mine of the Sunjiawan colliery.

Three hundred and thirty of the 574 miners working at the time escaped, while 244 were trapped in the shaft.

The All-China Federation of Trade Unions has donated 1 million yuan (US$120,000) to the victims' relatives, and the provincial union has contributed 200,000 yuan (US$24,096). The first cash donation offered by city government workers and Party officials has also reached the relatives.

Doctors said 27 of the injured are in stable condition. Medical experts from the provincial capital have been called in to consult on the other two, who were seriously injured.

On Tuesday, a day after the Liaoning blast, another coal mine explosion in southwest China's Yunnan Province killed 27 and injured 14.

The explosion occurred at an unlicensed mine in Songlin village, Fuyuan County, at about 4:10 PM according to Xu Jian'an, deputy director of the Yunnan Provincial Administration on Coal Mine Safety.

Investigation into the cause of the blast is underway.

(Xinhua News Agency February 18, 2005)

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