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All 33 people trapped in a Chinese coal mine were found dead


UPDATE 9:47 a.m. EST 11/2/16: 

All 33 miners trapped after a the Jinshangou coal mine in China's Chongqing region exploded in China on Monday were found dead, state-run media reported Wednesday. 

Originally, 13 were reported dead with 20 missing and rescuers were still looking for survivors.

Only two miners  survived the explosion. Officials have vowed to punish those responsible for the explosion.

Here's the scene after the search-and-rescue efforts ended.


 The state-run Xinhua News Agency said Tuesday that rescuers had found the bodies of 13 people inside the Jinshangou coal mine in China's Chongqing region where the explosion occurred before noon Monday. 

Xinhua previously reported 15 deaths in the explosion but said Chongqing deputy mayor Ma Huaping lowered the death toll in a press briefing early Tuesday, saying only 13 bodies had been found so far.

We are still working all-out to search for the 20 missing miners, and will exert our utmost as long as there's still a ray of hope.
Ma Huaping, Chongqing deputy mayor

Local officials did not answer telephone calls from The Associated Press, and a person who answered the phone at the mine hung up when asked about the blast. Xinhua reported that the 400 workers trying to rescue more miners were being hindered by debris blocking some of the mine's passageways.

'Must be strictly punished'

Gas explosions inside mines are often caused when a flame or electrical spark ignites gas leaking from the coal seam and the ventilation systems are supposed to prevent gas from becoming trapped.

The State Administration of Work Safety ordered an investigation into the blast, "adding that those responsible must be strictly punished." Local officials in Chongqing also ordered the temporary shutdown of coal mines producing less than 90,000 tons a year, Xinhua said.

A deadly history

China's mining industry has long been among the world's deadliest. The head of China's State Administration of Work Safety said earlier this year that struggling coal mines might be likely to overlook maintenance.

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of coal but has announced plans to shutter more than 1,000 outdated mines as part of a broader plan to cut down on overproduction.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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