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Across China: Henan
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-09-16 08:01

Survival hope slim

The death toll from a coal mine gas explosion in central China's Henan province rose to 54 yesterday morning, rescue headquarters said.

Chances of survival for 25 miners still trapped underground a week after the accident are slim.

Rescue work is continuing, but is being hampered by heavy damage to narrow, ill-equipped mine shafts.

The blast occurred on Tuesday in the Pingdingshan Coal Group's Xinhua No. 4 pit in Pingdingshan.

A total of 93 people were working underground at the time of the blast, of whom 14 managed to escape.

Qi Tongyan, deputy head of Xinhua District, and Pingdingshan coal industry administration official Zhang Xizhi, were dismissed.

(China Daily 09/16/2009 page5)