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111 Miners Died in Gas Explosion in Heilongjiang Province

Some 111 people have been confirmed dead in a gas explosion Thursday in the Chengzihe Coal Mine, northeast China, by Friday noon.

Another four people are still missing and the 24 miners who were rescued from under the mine are now out of critical conditions, according to sources with the local government.

So far, 60 bodies have been retrieved from the mine. Rescue efforts for the missing are in full swing.

A total of 139 miners were working underground when the fatal explosion occurred at 9:45 Thursday at the coal mine under the Jixi Mining Administrative Bureau in Heilongjiang Province.

The coal mine has 5,500 workers, producing 1.1 million tons of coal annually.

The State Administration of Coal-mine Safety has ordered the 10 coal mines under the bureau to stop production for rectification.

(China Daily June 21, 2002)

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