At least 22 workers are trapped in a unlicensed coal mine in China's northeastern Heilongjiang Province even as rescuers raced against time to save them, in the latest accident to hit the country's mining industry. Police are questioning at least two people over the explosion which occurred at a private coal mine in Qitaihe City, Heilongjiang Province, at 9 PM yesterday. Initial enquires showed that the blast was an accident and the mine was unlicensed, police said. The manager and another official of the mine is being questioned, police said. The police have not yet made any formal arrests, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Hundreds of rescuers extinguished the flames and conducted toxic air tests. China is the world's largest producer and consumer of coal. An explosion at a mine in the southwestern region of Chongqing on October 31 killed 33 people, just weeks after a gas explosion in another mine in Guizhou province killed seven people.
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