As of Monday noon, the death toll went up to 51 in Sunday night's coal mine blast in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, said sources from the headquartersin charge the rescue.
Altogether 221 miners were working underground when the blast went off at 9:40 p.m. Sunday at Dongfeng Coal Mine run by the Qitaihe branch of the Longmei Mining (Group) Co., Ltd., accordingto the provincial coal mine safety bureau.
A 126-member rescue team has been going all-out to search for the miners trapped beneath the coal mine shaft after the blast. Rescuers have saved 70 miners, of which, 48 have been hoisted to the ground, according to the rescue headquarters.
The rescuers are managing to lift the other 22 miners to the ground.
Investigators said the tragedy was caused by coal-dust explosion, which knocked out all ventilation systems in the pit. As of Monday morning, the main ventilation system resumed operation.
Longmei Group is a mining conglomerate of four state-owned major coal businesses in the province. It has a registered capitalof 13 billion yuan (1.6 billion US dollars).
Rescue operation is carried out swiftly for the remaining 100 miners trapped in the explosion.