22 trapped after explosion in Chinese gold mine

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Twenty-two gold miners have been trapped underground for nearly two days after an explosion in a mine under construction in eastern China.

The blast occurred at a mine in a town near Qixia city in eastern Shandong province.

A statement released late Monday said the explosion badly damaged the exit ladder from the mine and the communications system, so authorities could not contact the trapped miners.

But the authorities have sent rescuers to the mine.

Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced.

In December, 23 miners died after being trapped in a mine in the southwestern city of Chongqing, just months after 16 others died from carbon monoxide poisoning after being trapped underground at another coal mine in the city.

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