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At Least 74 Dead in China Following Mining Accident

A coal-mining explosion in North China’s Shanxi Province has left as many as 74 dead and more than a hundred injured in the deadliest mining accident to occur in the country in over a year.

The explosion occurred early Sunday morning at the Tunlan Coal Mine in the city of Gujiao – a mine owned and operated by Shanxi Coking Coal Group.

One of the deadliest working environments in the country, China’s mining industry reported 3,200 deaths last year. Government officials attribute the high death rates to illegally operated mines, which they number at almost 13,000 currently.

“Coal mines often experience the most serious accidents because so many of them are operating illegally,” said Zhao Tiechui, a senior official in charge of coal mine supervision. “The industry also sees the most frequent covering-up of accidents.”

Tunlan Coal Mine’s manager, top engineer, and official in charge of mine safety were all dismissed in the aftermath of yesterday’s tragic incident.

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