A colliery explosion in China’s vast southwestern province of Sichuan has left 19 miners dead and 28 still trapped underground.
The China Daily reports that the gas explosion occurred around 6pm on Wednesday evening at the Xiaojiawan coal mine in Panzhihua municipality, trapping a total of 154 miners underground.
104 miners were rescued from the mines by midnight and rushed to hospitals with three dying en route.
Although nine miners were initially reported dead by the China Daily a CNN update reports that the death toll has since risen to 19 with 28 miners still trapped underground.
State media sources report that the owner of the mine has been placed in policy custody pending further investigation.