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(RFE/RL) September 21, 2006 -- Kazakhstan's Emergency Situations Agency says at least 40 people have been confirmed killed in a methane explosion and fire at a coal mine.

The agency said in a statement that seven other miners were pulled out alive and hospitalized following the explosion on September 20 at the mine owned by international steel giant Mittal in the town of Shakhtinsk.

The mine supplies coal to a Mittal steelmaking complex in Kazakhstan.

(compiled from agency reports)