Sixteen workers have been killed by high levels of carbon monoxide in a coal mine in southwestern China, according to authorities and state media, and one is in a critical condition after being trapped underground on Sunday (Sep 27)
State news agency Xinhua said the dangerous levels of carbon monoxide were produced after a conveyor belt caught fire. An investigation was underway, it added.
Medics are fighting to save the life of the remaining survivor, CCTV reported. The facility, Songzao Coal Mine, is owned by state energy firm Chongqing Energy and located just outside the city of Chongqing.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation, said the Qijiang district government on social media platform Weibo.
Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced. There have been three major accidents over the past three years killing more than forty mine workers.