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18 killed in China mine explosion

A coal mine explosion has killed 18 people and injured 12 in the north-east of China, according to the state news agency.

The Xinhua News Agency cited local authorities as saying the Saturday afternoon blast occurred in Helong city in Jilin province.

The report said rescue work has ended, but an investigation into the cause of the explosion continues.

China's mines are the deadliest in the world. Safety has tightened in recent years, but regulations are often ignored.

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From Belfast Telegraph