Death toll from mine blast in Indonesia reaches 28

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June 17, 2009 09:25

 
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An explosion ripped through a coal mine in western Indonesia, killing at least 28 people and burying 12 others who were feared dead, officials said Wednesday. Dozens of rescuers tried to reach the trapped men after the Tuesday morning blast, but rock slides and a mix of gas and coal debris forced them to resurface after four hours of digging, district police Chief Yasman Esha in West Sumatra province said by phone from the scene. "We fear the miners are dead by now," Esha said. Four bodies were recovered soon after the morning blast at the 100-meter-deep mine in Sawahlunto regency on Sumatra island, he said. Eight more were pulled out late Tuesday after teams pumped oxygen into the mine shaft to allow rescuers to breathe.

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