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Mine Death Toll Rises to 73

Some 73 bodies had so far been recovered of the 92 miners missing after the blast Sunday morning caused the collapse of the mine in a village in Jiangsu province's Xuzhou prefecture, Xinhua news agency said.

Teams of rescuers were continuing to search around the clock for the missing miners but were having difficulty digging through the mine. The blast happened 260 meters (850 feet) into the mine.

Xinhua cited experts as saying it was unlikely they would find any survivors.

The explosion trapped 105 miners and 13 have been rescued.

Investigators had not yet determined the cause of the blast.

The owner of the mine, a farmer named Zhuang Jincai, has been arrested while investigations continue.

The mine had reportedly been illegally reopened by Zhuang on July 15 after being shut down a month previously for safety reasons.

(Agencies 07/27/2001)

93 Miners Trapped in a Coal Mine Explosion
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