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ChinaCoal mining suspended in north China

(Xinhua)

13:53, September 18, 2011

TAIYUAN, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Mining operations of China National Coal Group Corp. (ChinaCoal) in north Shanxi Province were ordered suspended Saturday after at least ten miners were confirmed dead in a colliery flooding at one of the company's subsidiaries.

The decision came at a provincial work safety meeting held after the accident on Friday. Shanxi Vice Governor Li Xiaopeng said the flooding exposed "serious problems" in the implementation of safety measures and vowed a thorough investigation into the accident.

Operations of ChinaCoal could resume after a safety overhaul, officials said.

Rescuers Saturday recovered the bodies of ten workers who had been trapped underground in a flooded coal mine since Friday afternoon in Shanyin County. One remains missing.

More than 800 people have joined the rescue work. The rescue headquarters said they would not give up as long as there was a light of hope.

The mine is operated by Jinhaiyang Yuanbaowan Coal Company -- a ChinaCoal subsidiary -- and produces 900,000 tonnes of coal a year.

State-owned China National Coal Group is the country's second largest coal producer. Its coal output grew 22.9 percent to 154 million metric tonnes last year. The company's profit in 2010 reached 12.1 billion yuan (1.94 billion U.S. dollars).

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