23 dead, six missing in NW China colliery gas blast

October 31st, 2008 - 6:50 pm ICT by IANS  

ShaanChengcheng (China), Oct 31 (Xinhua) The toll in a coal mine gas blast Wednesday in the central Chinese province of Shaanxi rose to 23 after rescuers Friday recovered 20 bodies, officials said.The accident occurred Wednesday evening in a shaft at the mine when 36 colliers were in the pit. Seven were able to run to safety, said a spokesman of the provincial government.

A search team was digging into the ruble for six trapped miners, officials said.

A rescuer said the mine was closed for repairs Oct 3, when a separate pit was flooded.

“Drainage and repair work was still going on when the explosion occurred Wednesday,” he said on the condition of anonymity.

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