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26 missing in flooded coal mine

Twenty-six miners have been trapped for two days in a flooded coal mine in northeastern China.

The state-run China Daily newspaper said rescuers were rushing to pump water from the mine in Qitaihe, in Heilongjiang province, but had not yet made contact with the trapped miners.

It said the mine filled with water on Tuesday when workers broke through into an adjacent flooded pit. Nineteen miners escaped to the surface.

Reports said seven officials have been detained over the suspected illegal operation of the mine.

China's mines are notoriously deadly, although safety improvements have cut annual fatalities by about one-third from a high of 6,995 in 2002.

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