March 11, 1997 in Nation/World

Explosion At Mine Kills 86, Injures 12

Compiled From Wire Services

A gas explosion at a privately run coal mine in central Henan province killed 86 people and injured 12 others, according to an official report seen in Beijing today.

The blast occurred last Tuesday at the Red Dirt mine in Nanjie village in Henan province about 470 miles south of Beijing, the newspaper Yangcheng Evening News reported.

Officials said the explosion was caused by an accumulation of gases inside the mine over the long Chinese New Year holiday.

The owners of the mine fled after the explosion and are being sought by police, the report added.

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