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62 dead, 13 missing in Hebei mine blast
Updated: 2005-12-08 10:52

An explosion at a coal mine in northern China on Wednesday, killed at least 62 workers left another 13 missing, Xinhua News Agency said Thursday morning.

A survior is rescued out of the Tangshan mine December 7, 2007. [Xinhua]
The explosion occurred at the privately run Liuguantun Colliery in Tangshan, a city in north China's Hebei province,the emergency rescue headquarters said Thursday. 

Altogether 104 miners were working in the pit when the blast occurred at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

As of 8:30 am Thursday, 29 miners have been rescued and are searching with all-out efforts for the 13 missing.

Investigators said the tragedy was caused by gas explosion.

Li Yizhong, director of the State Administration of Work Safety, and Zhao Tiechui, director of the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety, left Beijing Wednesday evening for the accident site to oversee rescue work.

The coal mine, formerly state-owned, was privatized in 2002 with designed annual production capacity of 300,000 tons.

The government has shut down thousands of unsafe mines and punished mine owners who put profits ahead of lives. 

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