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Update: China mine explosion death toll reaches 122

October 29, 2004
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The death toll from a devastating coal mine blast in central China has jumped to 122, with 26 people still missing.

A total of 446 workers were underground when the mine was rattled by a gas blast last week, and only 298 escaped in what is one of the worst disasters to hit China's mining industry in recent years.

Official figures indicate more than 7,000 workers die each year in China's coal mines. Hong Kong-based human rights group China Labour Bulletin puts the annual number of deaths in the industry around 20,000.

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