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Families grieve over the bodies of 20 of the dead miners recovered from the mine in Yunnan. Yang Yingrong/ColorChinaPhoto/AP

At least 21 killed in gas explosion at Chinese mine

A gas leaks sparks an underground explosion at a mine in the Yunnan province, with around two dozen more miners trapped.

AT LEAST 21 WORKERS have been killed after a gas leak at a mine in China caused a massive underground explosion.

The accident occurred yesterday morning in the south-western province of Yunnan, at around 6:30am yesterday morning.

The state’s official news agency Xinhua said rescuers were struggling to reach the other workers who had been trapped underground by the explosion.

There are thought to be 22 miners who remain trapped, though there has been no news as to how many – if any – remain alive.

It also said that the mine, which was privately owned, had been operating illegally – having lost its licence last year.

BBC News said the government had been trying to shut the mine down, as with other illegal mines, in a bid to try and restore the poor reputation of the country’s mining industry.

Only last week eight people died at an explosion in the Henan province.

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