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At Least 13 Dead, 20 Missing in Chinese Mine Explosion


At least 13 people are dead and another 20 are missing after an explosion at a coal mine in China's Chongqing region.

The explosion at the privately-owned Jinshangou mine in Laisu township happened before noon on Monday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Chongqing's deputy mayor said an all-out search for the missing miners is underway, however the rescue operation was hindered by damage from the blast and high concentrations of poisonous gases.

Authorities have already launched an investigation into the deadly explosion and local officials ordered the temporary shutdown of small coal mines in the region.

Earlier this year, Xinhua reported that China's National Energy Administration recorded 171 fatalities in 45 coal mine gas accidents in 2015.