Beijing, Oct 31: At least 15 workers were killed and 18 remained trapped after an explosion rocked a coal mine near China's Chongqing city today, in the latest mine accident to hit the world's top coal producing nation.
A total of 35 miners were working underground at the privately-owned Jinshangou Coal Mine in Laisu Town, Yongchuan District, when an explosion shook the mine.
Fifteen workers were killed in the accident while two miners managed to escape. Eighteen others remain unaccounted for, Chongqing municipal coal mine safety inspection bureau said.
The bureau ordered all coal mines in the municipality to stop production and have safety checks, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
More than 200 rescue workers including firefighters, armed police and mining rescuers are at the site, searching shafts for the missing miners. The designed capacity of the mine is 60,000 tonnes of coal every year, according to its license.
China's mining industry has long been among the world's deadliest with frequent mine accidents. China is the world's largest producer and consumer of coal.