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China Mine Accident Leaves 21 Dead, 16 Trapped

A coal mine accident in China has killed 21 miners and left another 16 missing underground.

State media said the blast happened in the central province of Henan.

According to a statement by China's national work safety agency, the mine was hit by a "sudden coal and gas outburst" as 276 miners were at work below ground.

China's mining industry is the most dangerous in the world, and more than 2,600 people died in mining accidents last year.

The "People's Daily" newspaper says China has shut down more than 1,600 small, illegal coal mines this year as part of an effort to improve safety standards.

compiled from agency reports