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China coalmine blast kills 12

March 13, 2004 14:48 IST

An explosion at a private coalmine in Southeast China's Guizhou province killed 12 miners, with two missing, on Friday, state media reported.

The blast occurred at the Huaxiang coalmine in the morning.

The mine, which has no license, has been ordered to close down.

A preliminary investigation showed a malfunctioning electric exhaust fan 400 meters below ground was responsible.

Thousands die in China's coalmines. Authorities blame most of the accidents to the lack of safety in private and illegal mines in remote areas.

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