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Eight dead in SW China coal mine accident
Updated: 2009-02-13 22:16

GUIYANG -- Eight miners were killed Friday in a gas and coal eruption at a mine in southwest China's Guizhou Province, local work safety officials said.

The outburst happened at 1:36 a.m. at the Zhihe mine in Zhijin County when 33 miners were working underground. Twenty-five miners managed to escape, said officials of the Guizhou provincial work safety bureau.

Most of the victims were migrant workers from neighboring Chongqing.

Their relatives are en route to the mine, a spokesman with the rescue headquarters said.

The accident also injured one miner, who was being treated at a local hospital, the spokesman said. "The injured miner was in a coma but has regained consciousness," he said.

The mine was ordered to halt production on January 19 for safety reasons, but it resumed production without approval Thursday.

Local authorities are investigating the cause of the accident.