According to the state-run CGTN broadcaster, there were 17 people at the Song Zhao coal mine in Chongqing, China at the time of the accident. Only one person survived by rescue workers and they are in critical condition in the hospital, CGTN reported.
The accident occurred just after noon on Sunday, local time. A fire broke out in the mine’s conveyor belt, producing excessive levels of carbon monoxide and trapping miners.
State-run news agency Xinhua News Agency reported that the level of carbon monoxide inside the coal mine exceeded the safe limit.
In a statement, the Chinese Emergency Management Department said it is working to identify the cause of the accident and take safety measures.
A team, led by the deputy director of the National Coal Safety Supervisory Service, was dispatched to guide the mine’s rescue and recovery efforts.
The facility is owned by the state energy company Chongqing Energy. The manager of the Songzao coal mine was previously fined and warned of a safety violation on the site.
At the end of 2019, the Chongqing Coal Mine Safety Supervision Bureau imposed “administrative penalties” and fines of $700 to $4,200 to 7 people for the use of inappropriate mine blasting methods.