updated 2/1/2006 9:33:22 PM ET 2006-02-02T02:33:22

A blast at a state-owned coal mine in northern China killed 23 workers and injured 53 others, the government said Thursday.

The blast occurred Wednesday at the Sihe Coal Mine in China’s Shanxi province, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The injured were suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. One of them was in critical condition.

The report said the Sihe Coal Mine, which is a subsidiary of the state-owned Jincheng Mining Group, is one of the largest collieries in Shanxi Province and produces about 11 million tons of coal a year.

An investigation was under way to determine the cause of the blast, Xinhua said.

China’s coal mines are the world’s deadliest, with fires, explosions and floods occurring almost daily.

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