November 2, 2008

China Mine Blast Toll Upped to 26

Three more bodies found Sunday raised the death toll from a Chinese coal mine gas explosion to 26, officials said.

Rescuers searching the Yaotou mine in China's Shaanxi Province found the additional victims in a mine shaft and were still searching for the last three trapped underground, a county government official told Xinhua, the state-run Chinese news service.

"It was more than 80 hours after the accident," the official said. "The concentration of poisonous gas is high and their chances of survival are slim."

The blast at the state-owned mine happened around 8 p.m. Wednesday. Only seven of the 36 workers in the pit were able to get out alive, Xinhua said.