After being stuck in a mine in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing, at least 18 people died, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday, the region’s second such accident in just over two months.
The dead were among 24 individuals trapped underground at the Diaoshuidong coal mine by high levels of carbon monoxide gas, the agency said, adding that one survivor had been rescued while search operations continued.
The incident on Friday, which took place at about 5 pm (09:00 GMT) in a mine shut down for more than two months as underground equipment was dismantled by the company, is being investigated, it added.
With 16 deaths recorded in late September after high levels of carbon monoxide trapped miners at the Songzao coal mine in Chongqing, China’s mines are among the world’s deadliest.
Founded in 1975 and operated as a private enterprise since 1998, Diaoshuidong is a high-gas mine with an annual capacity of 120,000 tonnes of coal, Xinhua said.
In 2013, in a hydrogen sulphide poisoning incident at the mine, three people were killed and two wounded, he added.