A state-run CGDN broadcaster said 17 people were inside the Changzhou coal mine in the Chinese city of Chongqing at the time of the incident. Only one person was rescued alive by the rescuers and they are in critical condition at the hospital, CGDN said.
The accident happened shortly after local time on Sunday, when a conveyor belt caught fire in the mine, creating high levels of carbon monoxide and trapping miners.
The state news agency Xinhua reported that carbon monoxide levels inside the coal mine had exceeded safe limits.
China’s Ministry of Emergency Management said in a statement that it was working to determine the cause of the crash and take safety measures.
The ministry said a team led by the deputy director of the National Coal Conservation Oversight Bureau had been sent to guide recovery and recovery efforts at the mine.
The facility is owned by state energy company Chongqing Energy. Managers of the Changshao coal mine were previously fined and warned of security breaches at the site.
In late 2019, the Chongqing Coal Mine Safety Oversight Bureau imposed “administrative fines” and fines of between 700 and 200,4,200 on seven people for using improper mining methods, the bureau said in a statement.