Death toll from China mine blast rises to 104: state media | world | Hindustan Times
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Death toll from China mine blast rises to 104: state media

The death toll from a coal mine blast in northeast China has climbed to 104, local authorities said on Monday, according to state media.

world Updated: Nov 23, 2009 09:42 IST

The death toll from a coal mine blast in northeast China has climbed to 104, local authorities said on Monday, according to state media.

China's state-run Xinhua news agency said four workers were still trapped in the mine shaft.

The explosion early on Saturday tore through the state-run mine in Heilongjiang province near the Russian border, one of the largest and oldest in China, after a build-up of gas, survivors said.

The explosion occurred when a total of 528 miners were in the pit, according to a statement by the State Administration of Work Safety.

Local news reports said the blast was felt 10 kilometres away.

The accident was the deadliest of its kind in the energy-hungry nation since an explosion killed 105 miners in Shanxi province in December 2007.

"I was with a group of 10 miners.... Right now I don't know if they made it out," mining veteran Fu Maofeng, 48, told the East Asia Trade News from his hospital bed.

Miners near the shaft entrance were told to evacuate after gas levels in the mine rose sharply, he told the paper. When he and two others reached the entrance, a huge blast ripped through the main shaft, he said.