At least five workers have been killed and six remain trapped in a coal mine after a gas explosion in central China’s Hubei province, the third major mine accident in recent days in the world’s top coal producing nation.
The explosion took place on Monday at Xinjia Coal Mine in Badong, a county in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture when 46 miners were working underground.
Sixteen workers were at the coalface during the outburst. Five managed to escape but 11 were trapped, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
By Tuesday, rescuers had retrieved five bodies. Twenty rescuers were working in two shifts to clear the mine shaft and search is on for the remaining six.
Air is being pumped into the area where the miners are trapped, and mining authorities have supplied rescuers with respirators.
Mining experts are checking the condition of the shaft. The legal representative of the mine is being held by police.
Last week, at least 53 people were killed after two separate explosions rocked coal mines in northern China.
Thirty-two people were killed following an explosion at a coal mine in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and 21 workers trapped in a coal mine in China after an explosion on November 30 were confirmed dead.