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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 08:35 GMT 09:35 UK
Gas explosion kills 21 in China
The Sunjiawan mine (file)
Coal mines in China are among the world's most dangerous
Twenty-one people have died in a gas blast in a coal mine in south-western China, state media has said.

The explosion occurred on Thursday at a mine in the city of Panzhihua, Sichuan province, Xinhua news agency said.

An initial report blamed a "violation of production procedures and poor management" for the blast.

China's coal mines are said to be the world's deadliest - 1,113 people have died in mining accidents since the beginning of the year.

Ten miners who survived the explosion were taken to hospital.

Correspondents say that an increasing demand for energy in China has put pressure on suppliers to provide coal faster, leading to a dramatic increase in accidents.

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