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WELLINGTON — An explosion in a coal mine on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island has left up to 30 miners unaccounted for, the district's mayor said on Friday.
The explosion was at the Pike River Coal Co. Ltd's underground mine about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of the town of Greymouth.
"It's not good news at all, they (police) say there are between 25 and 30 miners unaccounted for, after a big explosion at the mine," Greymouth mayor Tony Kokshoorn told Radio New Zealand.
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. The New Zealand Herald said the mine has an evacuation chute miners can use to escape if the main tunnel entrance is blocked.
A Herald video journalist described a small channel, which is just a ladder to the top of the mountain.