Thirty-six workers still remained trapped in a flooded coal mine in south China with efforts underway to rescue them.
Fifty six miners working underground at the Nadu mine in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region were trapped on Monday but seven managed to escape and 13 others were saved after an overnight rescue effort, state media reported.
Rescuers said that they had established contact with 12 trapped miners.
"They were trapped in a place about 2,000 meters from the entrance. The lack of oxygen in the narrow mining tunnel would make it difficult for the exhausted miners to get out by themselves," a rescuer was quoted as saying by official Xinhua news agency.
The rescuers were, however, yet to establish contact with the remaining 24 miners and were pumping out the water from the mine, it said.
The mine with an estimated reserve of 2.98 million tons of coal had complied with regulations relating to the ventilation, drainage and lift facilities, Chief Engineer of the mine Huang Zhao said.
With a heavy loss of lives in accidents every year, quite often attributed to lax safety measures, China's mining industry is considered the deadliest in the world. Nearly 3,800 miners were killed in mine mishaps last year.