Two mine accidents in China leave 17 dead

Taiyuan/Harbin (ANTARA News/Xinhua-OANA) - The death toll in an explosion at a coal mine in Linfen City of north China`s Shanxi Province early Saturday has risen to 17 after another two bodies were found, local authorities said.

The blast at Liugou Coal Mine of Yicheng County also left 104 persons injured, seven of them seriously, as of 11 p.m. Saturday, said Wang Jianshe, head of the county`s People`s Hospital, where all the injured were admitted.

All the injured are in stable condition, Wang said.

Basic search and rescue work is over, said a senior official of Yangquan Coal Industry (Group) Co. Ltd, which owns the mine. The official said that the blast took place in the dormitory area, where most of buildings were destroyed by the powerful explosion.

A miner surnamed Zhang told Xinhua that families of many miners had come to live here because the children were currently on their summer vacation.

But officials so far have not disclosed how many children and women had died during the accident.

Zhang said he saw a couple died after huge stones fell on them in a dormitory room.
Initial investigation showed that the blast was caused by explosives hidden illegally in the area, and a suspect has been detained by the police, the official said.

A further Investigation into the cause of the blast is underway.

Also on Saturday, 24 people were trapped in a flooded coal mine in northeast China`s Jixi City, Heilongjiang Province.

The city government said the accident at Hengxinyuan Mine took place at around 5 p.m. Saturday. No further detail is available immediately.

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