Rescuers prepare to go down the coal mine for rescue work in Shizuishan City, northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Sept. 28, 2016. Eighteen miners have been confirmed dead while two others remain missing after an explosion occurred on Tuesday morning at a small coal mine belonging to Linli Coal Mining Co. Ltd. in Shizuishan City. An initial investigation showed that the deadly coal mine explosion was caused by illegal mining. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)
YINCHUAN, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of a fatal coal mine explosion in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region has risen to 18, local authorities said.
The explosion occurred at 7 a.m. Tuesday at a small coal mine, which belongs to Linli Coal Mining Co. Ltd. in Shizuishan City. Twenty miners were working under ground at the time of the incident.
One miner died after he was rescued from the shaft, the bodies of 17 more miners were also brought above ground. Two remain missing.
Chairman of the region Xian Hui and vice chairman Ma Li arrived at the site of the explosion to inspect the rescue operation.
More than 200 rescuers have been mobilized.
The mine's annual production capacity is 450,000 tonnes. Its certificate remains valid until September next year.
Most of the miners were from the provinces of Sichuan and Gansu, as well as Ningxia autonomous region.