7 adaec, WUHAN –
Five miners have been confirmed dead, and six remain trapped in a coal mine after a gas outburst in central China’s Hubei Province Monday night, local authorities said Tuesday.
There were 46 miners working underground at the time of the incident around 8 p.m. Monday at Xinjia Coal Mine in Badong, a county in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture.
Sixteen workers were at the coalface during the outburst. Initially, five managed to escape but 11 were trapped.
By Tuesday afternoon, rescuers had retrieved five bodies. Twenty rescuers were working in two shifts to clear the mine shaft and search 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.
Hubei Vice Governor Xu Kezhen is at the scene directing the rescue mission. (Xinhua)