20 Apr 2014

China mine toll now 20

6:12 am on 20 April 2014

The death toll from a flooded coalmine in south-west China has risen to 20 with the recovery of another 14 bodies.

Rescuers make their way into the Xiahaizi mine shaft.

Rescue crews make their way into the Xiahaizi mine shaft. Photo: AFP (file)

The Xiahaizi mine in Yunnan province filled with water after an explosion on 7 April, leaving 22 miners trapped.

Xinhua news agency said late on Friday that two miners were still missing but the mine's complicated layout and narrow tunnels have made the search difficult.

Police have detained seven people linked to the mine in Qujing city, including officials and shareholders of operator Li Ming Industrial Co., the report said.

Last year, China recorded 589 mining-related accidents, leaving 1049 people dead or missing, according to the government. Both the number of accidents and fatalities were down more than 24 percent from 2012.