Beijing: Three separate coal mine accidents over the weekend has left 22 miners trapped in northeast and east China.
Eleven people were trapped after a fire broke out Saturday morning in a coal mine in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
The accident that occurred at the Longshan coal mine in Youyi County of Shuangyashan City was previously reported to have happened yesterday as a result of the mine owner's attempt to cover up, the rescue headquarters said.
Local people reported the accident to the authorities a day later.
An initial investigation showed that a total of 13 people were working underground.
Two were lifted out after the accident, state run Xinhua news agency reported.
The government said the county's coal management bureau had ordered the mine to suspend production on September 3, after its license expired a day earlier.
Illegal production was being blamed for the accident, the government said.
The underground fire was put off on last night, rescuers said.
Saturday saw flooding at another coal mine in Jidong County, also in Heilongjiang Province, which trapped six miners.
Five other miners were trapped after a ceiling collapse at a coal mine in east China's Shandong Province on Sunday.
The accident took place at a colliery of the Dongtai Mining Company in Zibo City.
Rescue efforts are under way at the three mines.
Coal mine accidents in China are a common occurrence as mines work overtime to extract coal which continues to be a premium energy resource.
First Published: Monday, September 24, 2012, 09:00