Beijing, Oct 18(ANI): The death toll from Saturday's coal mine gas leak in China's Henan Province has climbed to 31 with rescuers still battling to reach the six miners, who are still trapped inside.
"Based upon past experience, the remaining miners could be buried in coal dust, so the survival chances are frail," 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 owned by Pingyu Coal and Electric Co. Ltd.- a company jointly established by Zhong Ping Energy Chemical Group and China Power Investment Corp. Out of 276 miners, 239 escaped when the accident took place.
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 chief engineer by Pingyu Coal and Electric Co. Ltd., who was in the pit when the accident happened.
The blast came shortly after the world was riveted by Chile's dramatic rescue of 33 trapped miners after they spent more than two months underground. (ANI)