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Coal mine blast traps at least 160 in Heilongjiang
Updated: 2005-11-28 09:09

HARBIN -- About 160 miners were trapped by a colliery explosion Sunday night in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, the local coal mine safety watchdog said early on Monday.

The blast was reported at around 9:00 pm at Dongfeng Coal Mine run by Qitaihe branch of the Heilongjiang Longmei Mining (Group) Co Ltd, the provincial coal mine safety administration told Xinhua.

More than 40 miners have managed to escape the site overnight, but the roll book says at least 200 were working underground when the blast went off.

Rescue work is going on, and management of the mine is trying to work out the exact number of the trapped miners.

Longmei Group is a mining conglomerate of four state-owned major coal businesses in the northeastern province. It has a registered capital of 13 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion).

Leaders of the province have rushed to the coal mine to direct the rescue efforts.

And Li Yizhong, minister of the General Administration of Work Safety, who happens to be in Harbin for the water pollution investigation, also flew to the site early Monday morning.

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