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West Virginia Coal Mine Explosion Kills 7


At least seven coal miners were reported killed and 19 were missing after an explosion at a mine in the eastern U.S. state of West Virginia.

State mine safety director Ron Wooten says the blast happened Monday afternoon at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch South Mine mine in Raleigh County, about 50 kilometers from Charleston, the state capital.

Rescue efforts are under way and state Governor Joe Manchin, who was away on a personal trip, is returning home.

Massey Energy told the Charleston Gazette there is little information yet on what happened.

West Virginia is the state where 12 miners died after an explosion in the Sago coal mine in January 2006. That accident trapped 13 men underground for two days. One miner survived, while the rest died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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