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Mine owner detained after 13 miners trapped in NE China

(Xinhua)

15:21, October 13, 2011

HARBIN, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- The owner of a coal mine that flooded in northeast China's Heilongjiang province and trapped 13 miners has been detained, local authorities said Thursday.

The owner of the Jindi Coal Mine previously denied that there was anyone trapped underground after the flood happened around 5:40 p.m. Tuesday in Jidong County in the city of Jixi, an official with the Jixi government said.

The owner later confessed during a four-hour police interrogation that 24 people were underground when the accident happened, adding that 11 of them managed to escape, the official said.

Rescue operations for the remaining trapped miners are underway and authorities are investigating the cause of the flood.

The mine is properly licensed and was established in 2005.

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