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29 people  died in a Southern China after a gas explosion took place at a colliery in Hunan province yesterday.

The blast happened on Wednesday evening when about 150 miners were underground, city officials said.

By Thursday morning, more than 100 people had been rescued and taken to hospital, reports said.

The mine is owned by Zhengjin Industry and Trade Co Ltd. Its officials are assisting in a police investigation, the city government said in a statement on its official microblogging site.

At least  1,973 people died in coal mining accidents in the country last year.