Co-worker: At least 10 more miners trapped underground
At least 10 coal miners were trapped underground early Saturday by a mine explosion in Jixi city of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, three miners who escaped the accident said on Sunday.
The number of trapped miners is twice the figure provided by the Heilongjiang provincial coal mine safety supervision authorities on Saturday.
Liu Shanfu, 36, recalled that he and other two miners left the shaft after work at around 5:00 a.m. Saturday. They were 50 meters away from the mouth of the shaft when they heard the explosion underground and saw black smoke rising from the mouth of the shaft.
Liu and other two miners rushed back to the mouth of the shaft and found it was buried by the blast.
Liu said at least 10 miners were working underground when the blast occurred.
Xinhua reporter has seen the relatives of the 10 trapped miners and learned the names of the trapped miners.
Previously, a source with the headquarters for rescue and investigation into the accident said that they could not provide the exact number of trapped miners as investigations were still going on.
The blast occurred at Hada village of Jidong County at about 5:00 a.m. Saturday when unknown numbers of miners were working underground.
The owner of the mine has fled after the accident and the coal mine has no operation license from the state, according to the Heilongjiang provincial coal mine safety supervision authorities.
Rescue work is still going on by press time. Investigation into the cause of the accident is underway.