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Gas leak in coal mine in central China kills 18 miners

09 May 2017

CHANGSHA, May 7 (Xinhua) - A coal mine accident has killed at least three people and trapped 18 others underground on Sunday in central China's Hunan Province, local authorities said.

A gas leaking occurred on Sunday morning, when a total of 55 workers were working in the mining shaft.

Rescuers confirmed the death toll Monday, after saving another 37 miners.

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Cai Yongheng, rescue team director, said rescuers had to carry oxygen tanks during the search for survivors.

Investigators are testing the makeup of the poisonous gas.

Law enforcement agencies are now investigating the cause of the deadly accident.

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China is the world's largest coal producer and deadly accidents in mines are common. In March, around 17 miners were killed when a lift used to move workers fell down a shaft in northeastern Heilongjiang province.

Coal mine accidents are frequent in the region as the mines lack enforcement of safety standards.

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Gas leak in coal mine in central China kills 18 miners