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14 dead in China coal mine explosion

Fourteen miners are killed in an explosion at an illegally operating mine in northern China, says the government.

world Updated: May 02, 2007 12:42 IST

Fourteen miners were killed in an explosion at an illegally operating mine in northern China, the government said on Wednesday, the latest accident in the nation's dangerous mining industry.

The blast occurred early on Monday morning at an illegal mine in Liujiacun village, Shanxi province, the State Administration for Work Safety said on its website.

Four miners were rescued following the blast, which is currently under investigation, it said.

China's coal mines are regarded as the most dangerous in the world. More than 4,700 workers were killed last year, according to official figures, but independent labour groups put the death toll at up to 20,000 annually.