HARBIN, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Rescue work is under way for 17 miners trapped in a coal mine in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
The miners were in a cage which fell when its electric cable burned through at Dongrong Second Mine of the Shuangyashan branch of Longmay Mining Holding Group at 2:35 p.m. Thursday.
A total of 256 miners escaped, and 17 are trapped, with casualties still unknown, according to local authorities.
"I was working underground when the accident happened. I smelt choking smoke in the shaft which lasted about half an hour," said a miner surnamed Zhang, who was lifted out of the mine after spending about six hours underground.
"I did not hear any explosion. The ventilation and electricity systems did not black out either. Then we were told that we needed to leave the shaft. I spent about thirty minutes reaching the surface," said another miner who was working at an even deeper shaft.
At least ten ambulances and medical staff are on standby.