As of 8:00 p.m. Monday, 134 miners were confirmed dead in the northeast China coalmine blast, with 15 others still missing, the rescuers said.
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. in Heilongjiang province, said Zhang Chengxiang, director of the provincial coal mine safety bureau.
A 380-member rescue team has been going all-out to search for the miners trapped beneath the coal mine shaft after the blast.
Li Yizhong, head of the National Bureau of Production Safety Supervision Administration, and the major senior officials of the province are organizing the rescue operation at the accident site.
Investigators said the tragedy was caused by coal-dust explosion, which knocked out all ventilation systems in the pit. The main ventilation system resumed operation Monday morning.