15 dead after China colliery blast

The death toll from a coal mine explosion in east China rose to 15 as the last missing miner was found dead Monday afternoon, rescuers said.

Rescuers found the body of the last miner, identified as Zhou Ping, in the shaft of Gaokeng Coal Mine in Pingxiang City of Jiangxi Province at about 3:10 p.m., the rescue headquarters said in a statement.

In addition, 11 injured miners are still under medical treatment at a local hospital. Of the six critically injured, five suffered burns to over 50 percent of their bodies.

Thirty-eight miners were working in the mine when the accident occurred at about 12:55 p.m. Sunday. Twenty-three had escaped on their own or been pulled out to safety.

A working team sent by the State Administration of Work Safety earlier arrived at the accident site on Monday morning to direct the rescue work and aftermath.

The mine is a subsidiary of the state-owned Jiangxi Coal Group Corporation.

The investigation into the cause of the accident is underway.

Xinhua