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25 dead in Shanxi coal mine blast
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The death toll in a disaster at an illegal coal mine in north China's Shanxi Province has risen to 25, a government official said on Wednesday.

Rescuers found four more bodies in the mine on Monday evening and another body that was hidden by profiteers, said the official with the Fenxi county government.

The blast occurred at around 9 p.m. on Jan. 20 in Weijialing Coal Mine in Fenxi County, Linfen City. The rescue operation has now ended.

According to Shanxi Work Safety Administration, the mine was opened in 2004 but had later been closed for failing to meet safety requirements. Illegal miners took the opportunity afforded by heavy snow cutting the area off to sneak into the mine.

Among the dead were 12 local residents and the others were migrant workers from Anhui, Sichuan and Henan Provinces.

Police have arrest an organizer of the illegal mining and are investigating into the accident.

(Xinhua News Agency January 31, 2008)


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