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China: 19 people killed in two separate incidents

BEIJING: A gas explosion in a coal mine has killed two miners and left eight others trapped, a local authority in eastern China said Saturday.
The blast happened on Friday night in Shangrao county in Jiangxi province, initially trapping 10 miners in the privately run Yongji Coal Mine, the Shangrao government information office said in an online statement.
Two bodies were later found, it said. It gave no details on the cause of the blast. The state media reported that the mine’s owner was being questioned by police.
There has been a dramatic drop in accidental deaths in recent years, partly as a result of improved safety measures but also because of falling coal production levels as the slowing economy reduces demand.
A liquefied gas container exploded in a restaurant in eastern China at lunchtime on Saturday, causing a fire and killing 17 people, according to a local authority.
The explosion happened just before noon at a small privately run restaurant in Wuhu city’s Jinghu district, the Wuhu city government said on its microblog.
Wuhu is in Anhui province, which is just west of Shanghai. The restaurant was one of many in an alley about 50 meters long, said a worker at a rice noodles restaurant across from the one where the blast happened.
“When the fire broke out, people from nearby restaurants rushed to the scene and used fire extinguishers to try and put it out, but there was a lot of smoke and it was quite fierce and had already blocked the door,” the worker, who would only give his surname, Wang, said by telephone.
This is the second disaster that took place just a few days after letter bomb explosions killed seven people and injured 51 others in the Guangxi region of Southern China.

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