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Two People Killed in Wall Collapse at Yancoal Australia Mine

Two people were killed when a wall collapsed underground at a Yancoal Australia Ltd. coal mine in Australia.

The employees died following the incident at the Austar coal mine in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales state at around 9:30 p.m. yesterday, the Sydney-based producer said today in a statement.

“Mining activities were ceased and a recovery operation was initiated at the site,” the company said in the statement. Yancoal couldn’t indicate when operations may resume, investor relations representative Greg Foulis said today by phone.

An investigation is under way, the New South Wales government said in an e-mailed statement. Yancoal is assisting emergency services and the regulator, the producer said.

Yancoal, a unit of Yanzhou Coal Mining Co., China’s fourth-largest producer, operates seven coal mines. Austar produces coking coal and employs more than 400 workers including contractors, according to Yancoal’s website. Yancoal purchased the mine in 2004.

“A full and detailed report will be prepared for the coroner, and any lessons for improved safety outcomes will be implemented across the sector,” Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts said in the state government statement.

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