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Chinese Mine Blast Kills 203, Leaves 13 Trapped


A gas explosion in a Chinese coal mine has killed at least 203 workers and left 13 others trapped. Twenty-two miners were injured.

The accident occurred Monday at a state-owned mine in Fuxin city in Liaoning province in China's northeast.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao are calling on officials to do everything possible to rescue the trapped miners.

China has the deadliest coal industry in the world, with official records showing more than 6,000 deaths a year.

Monday's accident is believed to be the worst since 1942 when more than 15 hundred miners died in Japanese-occupied Manchuria.

Last month, Chinese officials pledged to try to reduce coal mine fatalities by three percent this year. But an ongoing power shortage has encouraged mine operators to lower safety standards in search of increased profits.

Information for this report is provided AP, AFP and Reuters.

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