20 dead in blast in illegal coal mine
Jan 21,2008 00:00 by UPI

BEIJING - Twenty miners, who had entered an unsafe coal mine in China's northern Shanxi Province, were killed in a blast, it was reported Monday.

Local authorities said the explosion occurred Sunday night in the Weijialing Coal Mine in Linfen City, Xinhua reported. Rescue efforts at the site have ended, the state-run news agency said.

Safety officials were quoted as saying the victims used the cover of heavy snow to enter the mine, which had been closed for failing to meet safety requirements.

Details of the blast or how many had entered the facility weren't immediately known as the mine foreman was among those killed, Xinhua said.

Police were seeking to arrest the organizers of the mining activity, the news agency said.

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