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Five die, 17 missing in mine blast

By Tong Hao and Zhi Yun (China Daily)

09:24, March 23, 2012

Rescuers prepare to go down to the shaft at Dahuang No 2 coal mine in Dengta, Liaoyang, Liaoning province, where a gas explosion killed five miners and trapped 17, on Thursday. (Jiang Bing / Xinhua)

At least five miners have been killed and another 17 are missing following a gas explosion at a coal mine in Northeast China's Liaoning province on Thursday.

The blast occurred at around 11:40 am in a shaft at the Dahuang No 2 coal mine, at Dengta, where 23 miners were working.

As of Thursday night, five bodies had been found. One miner who had managed to escape was undergoing treatment, according to a statement by the government of Dengta, a county-level city under the administration of Liaoyang city.

The cause of the explosion was still unclear on Thursday night and local authorities had blocked the road leading to the mine.

About three hours after the accident, rescuers and ambulances began to arrive at the mine to carry out rescue work, according to local residents.

The 17 miners are believed to be trapped about 169 meters underground, but rescue teams had not made contact with them, Liaoshen Evening News reported on Thursday night, citing Jiang Zhenbo, a work safety official in Dengta.

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