Gold miner killed in central Vietnam explosion

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A worker was killed in an explosion at a private gold mine in the central province of Quang Nam Saturday, local police said.

The blast occurred in a workers' tent at the Bai Muoi gold mine in Phuoc Thanh Commune, Phuoc Son District. Quang Van Du, 18, was found dead at the scene. The cause of death was determined to be wounds to his internal organs caused by the explosion.

The gold mine belongs to Phuoc Minh Limited Company. Du had been employed by the company for five months.

Captain Nguyen Thanh Huan of Phuoc Son District Police said the police suspected Du had committed suicide by setting off explosives in the tent.

Around 120 workers were working outside at the time of the explosion, he said.

Eyewitnesses said Du went into the tent at noon, and they thought he was asleep until the explosion occurred.

After the incident, the Phuoc Minh company evacuated the 120 workers to safer places outside the gold mine.

Around 40 of them were sent home by the company the same day.

The remaining workers are waiting for the company to arrange buses to take them back to their hometowns. 

Local residents are spreading rumors that the death toll was actually a dozen. They said a manager beat up a worker, prompting outrageous workers to hit back and throw a mine at the manager.

Company managers and workers could not be reached for comment.

Local police are still investigating the case.

Phuoc Thanh Commune is known locally as "gold town". The area has witnessed a number of gold mine collapses and brawls among miners from different companies.

In October 2007, a group of workers of Thanh Loc Son Limited Company fought and threw handmade mine at another group, causing an explosion which injured several workers.

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