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BEIJING (Reuters) - An explosion late on Wednesday at a small coal mine in China's northern province of Heilongjiang killed nine workers, the official Xinhua News Agency said on Thursday.

The incident occurred at the Yuchen coal mine, which has 60,000 tonnes of annual production capacity, located in the city of Jixi.

The latest accident follows an announcement by China's State Council on Aug. 31 to launch a new round of safety checks at coal mines and chemical plants starting in September after injuries during an incident at a state-owned coal mine in August.

China's coal output in August fell to a 10-month low, data from the National Statistics Bureau showed on Thursday, suggesting mines have reduced production in the wake of major accidents.

(Reporting by Meng Meng and Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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