At least four killed, 35 injured in central China colliery blast

13:19, July 08, 2010      

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An explosion at a central China coal mine has left at least four people dead, three buried under debris and 35 injured.

Rescuers are still trying to ascertain whether any workers have been trapped below ground by the explosion.

The blast was reported at about 5:30 a.m. Thursday at Fenghuangling Coal Mine of Zhanhe District in the resource-rich city of Pingdingshan, Henan Province, a city government official said.

Half of a two-storey building on the surface collapsed, leaving four people buried. One of them was found injured and rescued from the debris.

Another 34 injured people, including three severely hurt, are being treated in a local hospital.

The three severely injured were hit by debris from the damaged building, the spokesman said.

The blast has left a hole 10 meters deep and more than 10 meters wide. Windows within 50 meters were shattered and the roof of a large warehouse was blown off.

Dozens of rescuers are working with excavators at the site. The blast site is about 30 meters from the entrance of a coal shaft.

The coal mine with an annual output of 150,000 tonnes was supposed to have suspended operations as it was being taken over by the state-run Zhong Ping Energy Chemical Group.



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