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posted: 9/3/2012 7:59 AM

Explosion in Chinese coal mine kills 14 workers

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Associated Press

BEIJING -- A coal mine explosion in eastern China has killed at least 14 people just days after a blast in the country's southwest left 44 dead.

The official Xinhua News Agency said dozens of miners were working when the blast ripped through the Gaokeng Coal Mine in Jiangxi province's Pingxiang city at midday on Sunday.

Xinhua said 23 escaped or were rescued and 14 were confirmed dead. It said one miner remained missing Monday and 11 workers were hospitalized.

A blast in Sichuan on Wednesday killed 44 people, the highest single accident toll for the industry in nearly three years.

China has the world's deadliest coal mine industry. Safety improvements have reduced deaths in recent years, but safety rules are often ignored and accidents are still common.

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