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China coal mine blast kills 25, traps 141

XIAN, China, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Rescuers said 141 miners remained trapped in a coal mine filled with toxic gas in China's Shaanxi province Monday after an explosion the day before killed 25.

Carbon monoxide fumes prevented rescuers from reaching the trapped miners following the gas explosion, which occurred nearly 5 miles inside the Chenjiashan mine, Xinhua news agency said Monday. The state-owned mine is about 25 miles from Tongchuan city.

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There were 293 miners in the mine at the time of the explosion, 127 of which managed to escape, the report said. Among those, 45 were suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning and had been hospitalized.

The central government ordered local officials to do everything they could to rescue the miners. They also ordered a halt to production at all coal mines in the province until safety inspections could be carried out.

This was the second accident at the mine in three years, and the fourth serious accident in a Chinese coal mine in the past month. The other three accidents killed 117 miners.

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