Five miners trapped after explosion in northern Mexico

MEXICO CITY Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:34pm EDT

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - An explosion on Wednesday in a coal mine in northern Mexico trapped five miners, officials said.

The explosion occurred at around 9 a.m. local time in Muzquiz, in the coal-mining state of Coahuila, said civil protection representative Juan Antonio Ibarra.

"We have no information as to whether they are alive or injured," Ibarra said.

Emergency services are now attempting to free the trapped miners, he added.

Ibarra said a pocket of gas likely caused the explosion that occurred between 60 and 70 meters (195-228 feet) underground.

The coal mine is privately operated by a man called Federico Quintanilla, Ibarra said.

Coal mines in Coahuila are famously unsafe. A 2006 methane explosion in a Piedras Negras mine killed 65 miners.

(Reporting By Gabriel Stargardter; editing by Todd Eastham)

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