The death toll at a coalmine in southwest China’s Sichuan province following a gas explosion on Wednesday risen to 43, Xinhua news agency reported.
Earlier reports said that a total of 37 miners died in the blast that hit the mine at around 6:00 p.m. local time.
There were a total of 154 miners working in the shaft at the moment of the gas explosion. Some 110 of them managed to get out of the mine on their own, but three miners later died in a hospital.
In all, 54 people were injured in the blast with 17 remaining in hospitals in critical condition and rescuers are still searching for three missing miners at the scene of the incident.
The coal industry in energy-hungry China is one of the most dangerous in the world due to poor work safety standards and intensive work schedules. Hundreds of lives are lost annually in accidents at coal mines in the country.