A rescuer walks out the shaft of the Yongsheng Coal Mine in Wanyuan City, southwest China's Sichuan Province, Sept. 10, 2012. Eleven people are trapped following an gas-related accident that occurred at the Yongsheng Coal Mine Sunday. Rescue work is under way. (Xinhua/Li Qiaoqiao)
WANYUAN, Sichuan, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Rescue efforts for 11 miners trapped in a coal mine accident in southwest China are progressing slowly due to high density of toxic gas and dust in the pit, rescue headquarters said Monday.
As of 4 a.m., 11 miners remained trapped under the Yongsheng coal mine in Wanyuan City of Sichuan Province, sources with the headquarters said, adding that positions of the miners had been located.
The density of gas in the pit has lowered significantly and telecommunication devices have been sent inside the mine. However, the search for the miners is going slowly as there is a high density of dust in the mine and rescue workers are progressing wearing gas masks.
A total of 24 people were working underground when the accident happened at around 11:30 a.m Sunday. Thirteen miners were lifted out successfully, and five of them were injured, including 2 poisoned by gas, sources said.
The injured had been sent to local hospitals for treatment, and none of them are in life-threatening conditions.
An initial investigation has indicated that the accident was caused by coal and gas burst, according to the headquarters.
Owners of the mine are in the custody of police, and investigations are underway.
Meanwhile, the Wanyuan government ordered an overhaul of the city's coal mines and all production has been suspended for safety check-out.