BEIJING – Twenty-seven miners were found dead Saturday following an explosion at a Chinese coal mine, and rescuers were working to free seven more who remain trapped, state media reported.
Miners were trapped when explosives went off accidentally Friday deep in the pit of the mine located on the outskirts of Xiaoyi city in the northern province of Shanxi, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Fifteen workers made it to the surface following the blast, which ripped through the mine's main shaft shortly after 1 p.m. Another nine miners were rescued Friday evening.
The bodies of the 27 killed were pulled out around dawn Saturday. More than 100 rescuers from three local mine disaster relief teams were continuing to search for the seven trapped miners.
China's mining industry is notoriously unsafe, although Xinhua said the mine, operated by the Anxin Coal Mining Corp., had passed a recent safety inspection.
Nearly 3,800 miners died in China last year, an average of about 10 a day, making the country's mining industry the most dangerous in the world.