23 miners rescued in northeastern China after blast kills 11

In this Tuesday, June 5, 2018 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, rescuers work above ground at the site of a mine explosion in Benxi in northeastern China's Liaoning Province. Rescuers pulled 23 miners to safety after a blast at an iron mine in northeast China trapped them underground and killed about a dozen others, the government said Wednesday. (Pan Yulong/Xinhua via AP)
In this Tuesday, June 5, 2018 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, rescuers work above ground at the site of a mine explosion in Benxi in northeastern China's Liaoning Province. Rescuers pulled 23 miners to safety after a blast at an iron mine in northeast China trapped them underground and killed about a dozen others, the government said Wednesday. (Pan Yulong/Xinhua via AP)

BEIJING — Rescuers pulled 23 miners to safety after a blast at an iron mine in northeast China trapped them underground and killed 11 others, the government said Wednesday.

The search was continuing for two workers still missing after explosives that were being transported to a mine blew up near the entrance Tuesday afternoon in Benxi, a city in Liaoning province, the Ministry of Emergency Management said on its website.

The explosion damaged the mine shaft that was more than 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) deep, trapping 25 workers who were underground. Eleven workers were killed instantly and 9 were injured.

The injured miners are now being treated in hospital, the ministry said. Five suffered severe injuries though none was in critical condition.

China's mines were long the world's deadliest, although steady improvements in regulations, safety training and equipment have reduced the toll. Liaoning province has seen its share of accidents, including a dust explosion in 2014 that killed 28 miners and injured 50.

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