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All 37 confirmed dead in latest China mine disaster

Rescuers walk out of an entrance of Pingyu Mine after an explosion in Yuzhou, in central China's Henan province, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010. Rescuers battled dangerous levels of gas, tons of coal dust and the risk of falling rocks as they worked to free miners after the explosion at the mine in central China early Saturday. (Getty Images / AP Photo)

October 19, 2010 (KATAKAMI / Reuters) – All 37 missing and trapped miners in China’s latest colliery disaster have been confirmed as dead, state media reported on Tuesday.

The gas leak occurred early on Saturday morning in a pit owned by Pingyu Coal & Electric Co Ltd based in Yuzhou city in the central province of Henan, although 239 people escaped.

Rescuers had said they expected there to be little chance of any missing miners being found alive and have now found the last five bodies, state news agency Xinhua reported, bringing the final death toll to 37.

Another gas leak in 2008 at the same mine killed 23 people.

The accident occurred after Chile’s dramatic rescue of 33 miners trapped for more than two months underground.

China’s mines are the deadliest in the world, due to lax safety standards and a rush to feed energy demand from a robust economy. More than 2,600 people died in coal mine accidents in 2009 alone.

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