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China coal mine gas blast kills 29

October 29, 2011

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BEIJING—A gas explosion in a central China coal mine has killed 29 workers.

China's State Administration of Work Safety said Sunday that six of the miners survived Saturday evening's blast at a state-owned coal mine in Hengyang city in Hunan province. Five were rescued while one climbed out of an air shaft.

The work safety administration says rescue work is complete as no other miners were working there at the time of the explosion.

It did not mention a cause for the blast.

China's coal mines are the most dangerous in the world, although the industry's safety record has improved in recent years as smaller, illegal mines have been closed. Annual fatalities are now about one-third of the high of nearly 7,000 in 2002.

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