China / Society

Death toll likely to hit 20 in Jilin mine accident

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-08-22 13:13

CHANGCHUN - The death toll from a coal mine accident in Northeast China's Jilin province is likely to hit 20, as 13 miners trapped in the collapsed mine for 10 days have slim chances of surviving, according to the rescue headquarters.

A spokesman with the headquarters said on Wednesday that a high density of gas had had prevented rescuers from getting down to the pit owned by Jisheng Coal Mine in the city of Baishan, after an accident triggered by a coal and gas burst happened at around 6 am on August 13.

He said rescuers were able to enter the mine on Tuesday to clear the blockage in the mine shaft. Some of them said they could smell the odor of dead bodies.

The mine shaft collapsed after the gas burst, killing four miners and trapping 17 others underground. Rescuers lifted four miners to ground, but three of them died in hospital.

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