Eight killed, 36 injured in central China colliery blast

09:08, July 09, 2010      

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An explosion at a recently closed central China coal mine has left eight people dead and 36 injured as of midnight Thursday.

Rescuers pulled out from the rubble bodies of the last two victims before wrapping up the rescue efforts. All the injured had been hospitalized.

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 local government official said.

The explosion happened near the entrance of a coal shaft and left a hole 10 meters deep and more than 10 meters wide. A two-story building nearby partially collapsed. Windows within 50 meters were shattered and the roof of a large warehouse was blown off.

At least three of the dead were mine security guards, said a spokesman with the rescue headquarters. The others had not been identified yet.

Fifteen of the injured people were people living near the mine. The rest were maintenance and security staff.

The mine, capable of an annual output of 150,000 tonnes, had its electricity switched off on June 21. The mine was not operating when the explosion happened, said a spokesman with the rescue headquarters.

On June 21, another underground coal mine explosion in the same city claimed 49 lives.

Illegal operation and storage of explosives had caused the previous accident, the State Administration of Work Safety said.



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