Gas blast kills 74 in northern China coal mine

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February 23, 2009 03:20

 
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Rescuers wearing headlamps and oxygen backpacks carried dozens of miners to safety after a gas explosion at a coal mine in northern China killed at least 74. The blast Sunday at the mine, which had for years boasted an exemplary safety record, highlighted the perilous conditions that make China's mining industry the deadliest in the world. Survivors described how they tried to flee along tunnels to escape the choking carbon monoxide, but were overcome by the fumes. The official Xinhua News Agency said 436 miners were in the Tunlan Coal Mine in Gujiao city near Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province, when the pre-dawn blast occurred.

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