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Death toll rises to 41 in SW China's colliery blast


10:47, September 01, 2012

Rescuers are ready to go down the shaft at Xiaojiawan Coal Mine in Panzhihua City, southwest China's Sichuan Province, on Aug. 31, 2012. Death toll has risen to 41 in Wednesday's colliery blast at the coal mine in Sichuan Province as more bodies were retrieved. Five others remained trapped, officials said Friday. (Xinhua/Deng Liangkui)

PANZHIHUA, Sichuan, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Death toll has risen to 41 in Wednesday's colliery blast in southwest China's Sichuan Province as more bodies were retrieved, officials said Friday.

One miner was pulled out of the shaft alive, and five others remained trapped as of 11 a.m. Friday, a working team sent by the State Administration of Work Safety told Xinhua.

A total of 154 miners were working underground when the blast hit the Xiaojiawan Coal Mine in Panzhihua City at around 6 p.m. Wednesday, and 110 of them have escaped on their own or have been pulled out of the shaft. Three miners died on their way to hospital.

The coal mine, some 750 km southwest of the provincial capital of Chengdu, is owned by Zhengjin Industry and Trade Co., Ltd.

Three owners of the mine have been taken into police custody and an investigation into the accident is underway.

Provincial authorities in Sichuan have ordered a thorough probe and overhaul on coal mines and other hazardous businesses.

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