Gas blast at Chinese coal mine traps 22 workers

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Associated Press

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 1:04 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 13 at 1:33 AM

BEIJING (AP) — A gas explosion has trapped 22 workers underground in a coal mine in western China.

A government news office in Changji prefecture said the blast at a coal mine occurred at 1:26 a.m. local time Friday when 34 miners were working.

The news office says on its official microblog that 12 miners were able to scramble to safety but 22 others remained trapped.

China News Service says rescuers were searching for the trapped miners and it was unclear whether there were injuries or fatalities among them.

Accidents are common in China's mines, which are the deadliest in the world. Safety improvements have reduced deaths in recent years, but regulations are still often ignored.

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