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Poisonous gas gush kills 15 Chinese miners
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-10-31 09:19

A poisonous gas leak at a State-owned coal mine in Northeast China's Liaoning Province has killed 15 miners .

The State Administration of Work Safety said a large area of the Pingdong pit at the Xilutian Coal Mine collapsed at 2:55 pm on Saturday, causing poisonous gas to fill the chamber and killing the miners instantly.

The dead were among 50 miners working 400 metres away from the shaft entrance when the leak occurred, said Li Sen, Party secretary of the coal mine.

An official from the company, said ambulances arrived on the scene 20 minutes after the accident happened and helped the remaining 35 miners evacuate.

The rescue work lasted an hour and the bodies of the 15 victims were taken out of the pit, said the official.

He said the cause of the accident is under investigation and his company has set up a special team to handle remaining problems such as compensating the victims' families.

The Xilutian Coal Mine, with an annual production capacity of 2.4 million tons, is affiliated to the Fushun Mining Group in Fushun, Northeast China's Liaoning Province.

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