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Death Toll Rises to 16 in Mine Blast
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The death toll in a coalmine gas explosion in southwest China's Guizhou Province has risen to 16 with the body of the final missing miner recovered on Monday, local authorities said.

The blast occurred at 12:20 AM on Sunday in the Yile Coal Mine, Shuitang Town, Panxian County. Twenty-five miners were working underground when the explosion occurred and nine escaped, said sources from the Guizhou Provincial Bureau of Work Safety.

Rescuers found the last body while clearing debris late Monday. The bodies of all those who died have now been recovered, said a spokesman for the Guizhou Provincial Bureau of Work Safety.

The owner of the mine, which is fully licensed with an annual output capacity of 60,000 tons, has been ordered to report regularly to local police. An investigation into the cause of the explosion is ongoing.

(Xinhua News Agency January 30, 2007)

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