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China Coal Mine Blast Kills 20


China says a gas explosion in an illegal coal mine in the country's north has killed 20 people.

The official Xinhua news agency said Monday that the blast occurred Sunday evening in Shanxi province, while miners were trying to mine coal secretly.

Xinhua gave no further details.

China's mining industry is the most dangerous in the world, with numerous fires, floods and other disasters every year, despite repeated government promises to improve safety.

Many of the accidents are in small, illegal mines, where safety procedures are often ignored.

An average of 13 Chinese workers die every day in mining accidents.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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