Mine explosion reported in New Zealand

November 19, 2010 07:17

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — An underground explosion ripped through a coal mine in New Zealand on Friday and up to 30 workers were unaccounted for, police and media reports said.

Emergency services were racing to the Pike River Coal Processing Plant near the town of Atarau on the west coast after police received reports of an explosion, police said in a statement.Local Mayor Tony Kokshoorn told Radio New Zealand that 25 or 30 people at the mine were unaccounted for and said of the situation: "It's not good."

Police said people were known to be in the mine at the time the explosion was reported. The statement said no more information was immediately available.

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