Beijing, Oct 17 (ANI): The death toll from Saturday's coal mine gas leak in Central China's Henan Province climbed to 26 on Sunday with rescuers still battling to reach the eleven miners, who are still trapped inside.
"Rescuers were battling to reach the 11 miners still trapped underground, but chances for them to survive were very slim. Based upon past experience, the remaining 11 miners could be buried in coal dust, so the survival chances are frail," The Xinhua quoted Rescue Headquarters Deputy Chief Du Bo, as saying.
"More than 2,500 tonnes of coal dust smothered the pit after the gas leak, which hampered the rescue," he added.
The blast occurred around 6 a.m. on Saturday when 276 miners were working underground in the mine in Yuzhou City.
Out of 276 miners, 239 escaped when the gas burst.
As per the reports of the initial investigation, around 173,500 cubic meters of gas leaked out in the accident.
"At around 6 a.m., I felt there was something wrong with the airflow in the shaft, and one of the team captains told me he also felt it and had already reported the problem," said Liu Wenbin, a deputy hief engineer by Pingyu Coal and Electric Co. Ltd., who was in the pit when the accident happened. (ANI)