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China mine collapses after truck blows up near entrance

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A TRUCK carrying explosives has blown up near the entrance of an iron-ore mine in northeast China, killing 11 people, injuring nine and leaving another 25 trapped underground, state media reported.

Some 23 victims stuck inside the mine run by Huamei Group — a subsidiary of China National Coal Group Co — in Liaoning province were able to contact rescuers, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

The workers were drilling a mining shaft when the truck exploded just after 4pm on Tuesday, (6pm AEST) near the entrance to the mine, the broadcaster said.

The Ministry of Emergency Management and the local government of Benxi, where the blast occurred, were co-ordinating the rescue efforts, CCTV added.

Six hours later the electricity and ventilation systems in the mine had been revived, and rescuers were repairing the underground lift systems, state-run Xinhua news agency said.

The injured have been taken to hospital. Rescue work is still underway.

Deadly mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record.

A gas leak killed at least 18 people working in a coal mine in central Hunan province in May last year.

In December 2016, explosions in two separate coal mines in the Inner Mongolia region and in Heilongjiang killed at least 59 people.

Earlier that year, 33 miners were killed in a colliery explosion in October in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, and in September at least 18 were killed in a mine blast in the northwestern Ningxia region.

In another incident that captivated the country’s attention, four miners were rescued in January 2016 after they spent 36 days trapped in a collapsed gypsum mine in eastern Shandong province.

The incident drew comparisons to a 2010 mining accident in Chile, which saw 33 miners trapped underground for 69 days before their rescue.

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