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China Mine Blast Leaves Dozens Trapped

Emergency workers prepare for an attempt to rescue 27 people trapped in a coal mine in east China’s Anhui province Aug. 19, 2014.

A gas explosion in an eastern China coal mine early Tuesday has trapped 27 workers.

Chinese state media said 12 other miners have been rescued from a privately run coal mine in Huainan City, in the eastern province of Anhui, but a partial collapse made reaching the others difficult.

Rescuers had not been in contact with the missing miners since the blast, said Wu Zhiyong, deputy director with the Xiejiaji District’s safety supervision bureau. T

The Dongfang Coal Mine was operating against the local government’s orders for all mines to halt production during the flood season, the Associated Press reported, citing local news sources.

"Local government issued an instruction … and the order has not been lifted," Wu said.

Mining accidents in China claim hundreds of lives every year.

The state-run news agency Xinhua on Monday reported slim chances of finding 13 workers still trapped in a flooded mine last week in northeast China’s Jixi city in Heilongjiang province. Nine were rescued Friday, a day after the mine flooded. Three bodies have been found.