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27 trapped after China mine blast

An explosion in a coal mine in eastern China has trapped 27 workers underground, state media reports.

Twelve other miners were lifted out of the privately owned mine in Huainan city in Anhui province after the blast, one of whom suffered burns.

Rescuers are having difficulty reaching the trapped miners as the blast caused part of a tunnel to collapse.

The cause of the blast is under investigation.

The Dongfang Coal Mine had not acted on an order from the municipal government more than a month ago for all mines to suspend production because of the flood season.

Most of the trapped miners are reported to be in their 40s.

China has the world's deadliest mines, although the safety record has been improving in recent years as regulators have strengthened enforcement of safety rules.

On Thursday, a coal mine flooded in Jixi city in Heilongjiang province in China's north-east, trapping 25 workers, nine of whom were pulled out the next day. Three bodies had been found and 13 are still trapped, with their chances of survival slim.


From Belfast Telegraph