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Mine Blast Kills 74 in China

An explosion in a coal mine killed 74 workers in Shanxi province on Sunday. (CNN)

The Xinhua news agency said that 436 miners were working underground when the blast occurred at the Tunlan mine near Taiyuan, the capital of the northern province.

Most survivors were quickly brought to the surface but around 60 miners were trapped underground. Rescuers told Reuters that some of the trapped miners contacted their families via mobile phones.

Xinhua said that 114 miners were sent to the hospital and five are in critical condition.

"The focus of our effort has shifted from searching and rescue to medical treatment," provincial Communist Party committee chief Zhang Baoshun told Xinhua

The explosion happened just a day after senior provincial officials held a meeting about mine safety where they pledged to try and put an end to fatal mining accidents.