China mine blast kills 21, traps 16 (Lead)

October 16th, 2010 - 8:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Oct 16 (IANS) Twenty-one miners were killed and 16 others are trapped underground Saturday in a coal mine blast in China, Xinhua reported.

The blast occurred around 6 a.m. in Yuzhou city in central Henan province. Twenty bodies were retrieved by 1 p.m.

A spokesman for the rescue headquarters said 239 of 276 miners escaped when the blast took place.

The trapped miners were located but the coal dust from a shaft needs to be cleared before the rescue can start.

He added that a high density of gas underground is hindering the rescue.

The mine is owned by Pingyu Coal & Electric Co. Ltd.

Twenty-three miners were killed in a similar blast in the mine Aug 1, 2008.

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