74 killed, 114 injured in China mine blast

By
February 22, 2009 14:57

 
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A gas explosion ripped through a coal mine in northern China on Sunday, killing at least 74 miners and trapping dozens, state media said. It was the country's deadliest coal mine accident in more than a year. China's mines are the world's most dangerous with more than 3,000 deaths a year in fires, floods and explosions. The pre-dawn blast occurred while 436 workers were in the Tunlan Coal Mine in Gujiao city near Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province, the official Xinhua News Agency said. At least 74 miners died and 114 others were hospitalized, including six in critical condition, Xinhua said. It did not say how many workers remained trapped in the shaft but earlier reports said 65 were still underground. Most of the injured miners were suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, Xinhua said, citing doctors at a nearby hospital. Exposure to carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas, can lead to death. Xinhua said about 80 rescuers were searching for survivors.

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