Blast at coal mine in China kills 18

April 18, 2009 4:52:45 AM PDT
A warehouse has reportedly exploded at a coal mine in a remote, mountainous region of central China. An official in Hunan province says the explosion killed 18 people and injured three.

State television reports six people were injured in the blast Friday afternoon. Two people are reported missing.

A man with the Hunan provincial work safety bureau says it was a privately run illegal mine and police are investigating where the explosives came from.

A CCTV report says one shareholder of the mine is already "under police control" and authorities are seeking the other owners.

Police are investigating whether the explosives were stored illegally.

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