05/17/2005, 00.00
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China mine gas blast kills 21

Initial investigation: the accident happened due to "improper exploration" and "chaotic administration".

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - A gas explosion has killed 21 miners in southwestern China.

Thirty-one workers were working underground when the accident happened last Thursday at a small coal pit in the city of Panzhihua in Sichuan province.

"The initial investigation shows the accident happened due to improper exploration and chaotic administration," official source said. Ten miners had been rescued, it added. It did not say why it had taken so long to report news of the disaster.

China's mining industry, the main source of fuel for the world's seventh-biggest economy, is the world's most deadly. Explosions, floods and other underground accidents at Chinese mines killed 1,113 people in the first three months of the year.

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