International desk – Death toll in a Chinese coal mine explosion has claimed to at least 33, said state media reports on Wednesday.
Xinhua News Agency reported that rescuers had been working round the clock to reach the miners since the blast on Monday morning in the south-west Chongqing region.
The People’s Daily newspaper said all the bodies had been pulled out of the Jinshangou mine and were being identified. Two miners escaped alive.
Mine accidents are common in China, despite efforts to improve safety.
The cause of the explosion is not clear, but such incidents are usually caused by a spark igniting gas released from the earth.
Local authorities have ordered an investigation into the incident. Smaller coal mines in the region were also asked to close temporarily.
China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal. The Jinshangou mine is licensed to produce 60,000 tonnes of coal a year.