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Death toll rises to 76 from Xinjiang mine blast
Updated: 2005-07-12 20:19

The death toll from a gas blast in a colliery in northwestern China rose to 76 Tuesday but seven miners remained missing, government officials said.

By 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, rescuers have located the seven minerswho were still trapped 200 meters underground in the coal mine in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, said Tian Guangxiong, deputy chief engineer with Xinjiang's Coal Mine Work Safety Bureau.

High density of gas underground has impeded the rescue efforts and rescuers are ventilating the tunnels.

A total of 87 miners were working in the Shenlong Coal Mine of Fukang County, 62 km away from the regional capital of Urumqi, when the blast took place in the early hours of Monday. Four survived the tragedy.

Li Yizhong, director of the State Administration for Work Safety, said that there is little chance of survival for the sevenmissing miners, taking into consideration of the situation in the coal mine.

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