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Coal mine explosion kills 15 in east China

February 24, 2006 11:11 IST

Fifteen miners were killed and 12 injured when an explosion ripped through a coal mine in east China's Shandong province, the local government said on Friday.

The blast occurred on Thursday in a colliery of the Zaozhuang Mining Group Co where the 27 miners were working, officials with the provincial work place safety watchdog said.

An investigation has been launched into the accident, the officials added.

The mine, a joint-stock company founded in the city of Zaozhuang in 2001, is undergoing a safety overhaul, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China, the world's largest coal producer, has also the dubious distinction of having the deadliest coalmines. Last year, over 6,000 miners died in hundreds of coal mine disasters.

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