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China coal mine final death toll set at 19: state media

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Dec 31, 2007
Eighteen miners who were trapped by a coal mine explosion in northeast China were confirmed dead on Monday, bringing the final toll to 19, state media reported.

Rescuers had found the bodies of all 18 missing after the accident, which occurred Saturday evening in a coal mine near Mudanjiang city in northeastern Heilongjiang province, Xinhua news agency said.

One other victim had already been confirmed dead on Sunday.

An initial investigation showed the operators of the Shunfa Coal Mine had recently resumed production illegally following the revocation of their licence, Xinhua said.

The mine's owner and legal representative have been detained by police, it added.

Coal mines in the area have been ordered to evacuate all miners and suspend operations, it said, providing no other details.

China's coal mines are among the most dangerous in the world, with safety standards often ignored in the quest for profits amid sky-rocketing demand for coal, the source of about 70 percent of the booming country's energy.

Earlier this month, 105 miners died after an underground gas explosion in a coal mine in northern Shanxi province.

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China coal mine blast kills one, traps 18: state media
Beijing (AFP) Dec 30, 2007
An explosion in a northeast China coal mine has killed one miner and trapped 18 others in the latest accident to hit the country's deadly mining sector, state media reported said Sunday.

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