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Coal and gas outburst at mine in southwest China kills 17 workers

Chinese state media say an accident in a coal mine in the southwest of the country has killed 17 miners.

The official Xinhua News Agency says there was an outburst of coal and gas in a shaft in the mine in Fuyuan county in Yunnan province on Wednesday afternoon.

It says the other 49 miners underground at the time escaped unharmed.

China has the world's deadliest coal mine industry, with 1,973 miners killed in accidents last year.

Safety improvements have reduced deaths in recent years, but safety rules are often ignored and accidents are still common.