Report: China mine deaths rise to 34

November 13, 2011 09:47


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The death toll from a gas explosion in a coal mine in China's southwestern Yunnan province has risen to 34, rescue workers said on Sunday, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Initial reports after the underground blast last week said 19 miners had been killed with dozens trapped at Sizhuang Coal Mine, in Shizong county near the city of Qujing in Yunnan province.

Nine miners remained trapped on Sunday morning and hundreds of rescuers were searching for them, Qujing government spokesman Li Jianjun was quoted as saying.

Li said a 181-metre section of the tunnel had yet to be cleared, and he warned that a risk of large amounts of gas underground would hamper the operation.

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