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Explosion kills miners in China

BEIJING — A sudden explosion of rock in a coal mine in central China following a small earthquake killed four miners and trapped 57 others, a state news agency reported today.

The accident in the coal mine in the city of Sanmenxia in Henan province occurred Thursday evening when 75 miners were working in the shaft, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Fourteen workers escaped.

The Qianqiu Coal Mine belongs to Yima Coal Group, a large state-owned coal company in Henan, the State Administration of Work Safety said on its website.

Xinhua said a magnitude-2.9 earthquake occurred to the east of Sanmenxia and that the rock explosion happened about 30 minutes later.

The phenomenon known as a "rock burst" occurs when settling layers of earth bear down on the walls of a mine and result in a sudden release of stored energy.

Man held in scam to claim life insurance

SYDNEY — A British man accused of faking his own death as part of a life insurance scam was arrested in Australia after a six-year hunt by authorities, police said Thursday.

Hugo Sanchez, who also went by the first name Alfredo, was arrested in Sydney on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the Australian Federal Police said. She had no further details.

Sanchez and his wife, Sophie, had been living in Surrey when they found themselves in deep debt, according to a statement on Britain's Crown Prosecution Service website. Sanchez is accused of convincing Sophie to tell authorities and his employer that he died while overseas, so that she could collect his life insurance.

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