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Chinese agency: Blast at China mine kills 8, injures 36

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Blast damaged neighboring building
  • Mine not operating at time of explosion
  • People living near the mine injured

(CNN) -- Eight people were killed and 36 were injured in an explosion at a closed coal mine in China Thursday, according to a state-run news agency.

The blast, which occurred at 5:30 a.m., hit the entrance of a coal shaft at the Fenghuangling Coal Mine in the town of Pingdingshan in Henan province, according to Xinhua news agency.

The explosion left a hole 10 meters deep and more than 10 meters wide on the property and caused the partial collapse of a nearby two-story building, the new agency said.

The blast also shattered windows within 50 meters of the plant, according to Xinhua.

The mine was not in operation at the time of the accident. The facility's electricity had been turned off in June, said Xinhua.

As many as 15 people living near the mine were injured in the accident. Other injured were members of the mine's maintenance and security departments, said the news agency.

Three of the dead have been identified as mine security guards, Xinhua said.

This was the second explosion at a Pingdingshan coal mine in three weeks, according to officials. On June 21, a blast at another coal mine killed 49 people, officials said.