The Latest: China state media say all 33 miners found dead

BEIJING (AP) " The Latest on an explosion in a western China coal mine (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

Chinese state media say all 33 coal miners trapped underground in a gas explosion earlier this week have been found dead.

Two miners survived Monday's explosion but rescuers working around the clock found no others alive. All bodies have been recovered and rescuers were shown bowing their heads in memorial for the dead.

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

The State Administration of Work Safety ordered an investigation, saying those responsible must be strictly punished. Local officials in Chongqing also ordered smaller mines to shut down temporarily.

China's mining industry has long been among the world's deadliest.

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4:30 p.m. Tuesday

The death toll has risen by two to 15 following a gas explosion in western China, with 18 other miners still trapped.

It still wasn't known Tuesday afternoon if the 18 were alive more than a day after the blast ripped through the privately owned Jinshangou mine in the sprawling western Chongqing region. Just two miners were confirmed to have survived the blast.

Thirteen fatalities had been confirmed Tuesday morning. Later, two more bodies were recovered from among the 33 left in the shaft following the explosion, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Authorities said hundreds of rescuers were conducting an all-out search for those still trapped.

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10 a.m.

State media now say 13 miners have been found dead after a gas explosion inside a coal mine in western China, and rescuers continue to search for another 20 people trapped inside.

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 had previously reported 15 deaths in the explosion, but said Tuesday that Chongqing's deputy mayor corrected previous reports from local coal mine safety authorities.

Local officials did not answer phone calls from The Associated Press, and a person answering the phone at the coal mine hung up.

9:30 a.m.

Fifteen people have been confirmed dead from a gas explosion inside a coal mine in western China, and the status is still unknown for 18 others trapped inside.

Rescuers on Tuesday were still trying to locate survivors inside the Jinshangou coal mine in China's Chongqing region where the explosion occurred before noon Monday.

Xinhua News Agency cited the Chongqing municipal coal mine safety inspection bureau in reporting the deaths. Local officials did not answer phone calls from The Associated Press.

Two people had been rescued earlier.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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