Coal mine accident kills 15 in China

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BEIJING (AP) — China's state news agency says 15 miners were killed and three others hurt when the mine carriages they were in plunged into a tunnel.

Xinhua said the accident happened early Thursday in Hunan province in central China when the miners were riding in mine carriages that were designed to transport coal only.

It said the three hurt miners survived by jumping or being thrown from the carriages.

China's coal mines are the most dangerous in the world because of lax safety practices, but the government has worked hard in recently years to improve that and mine fatalities have fallen to about one-third from a high of nearly 7,000 in 2002.

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