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MINE EXPLOSION KILLS 60; 88 WORKERS MISSING

A natural gas blast tore through a Chinese coal mine Wednesday, killing at least 60 people in the country's deadliest mine accident this year, the government said. Officials reported that another 88 were missing and chances of finding them alive were slim.

Nearly 450 people were at work in the Daping Mine southwest of Beijing at the time of the explosion and 298 escaped alive, said Sun Huashan, deputy administrator of the State Administration of Work Safety.

The Xinhua News Agency said most of the dead miners suffocated in the toxic fumes.

State television said the gas density in the mine shot up from 2 percent to 40 percent in less than three minutes.

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