Altogether 171 miners were confirmed dead at a state-owned coal mine in Heilongjiang by 5 December following a week-long rescue work. The dead include 169 miners working underground and two others working on the ground generator room.
The blast went off on 27 November at the Dongfeng Coal Mine, run by the Qitaihe branch of the Longmei Mining (Group) Co., Ltd., in Heilongjiang. The latest figures show that 242 miners were working underground when the explosion occurred, and only 73 of them escaped.
Heilongjiang Provincial Governor Zhang Zuoji said on 6 December that a provincial-level emergency aid center would be established which would "focus on rescue work, including facilitating alarm information, arousing rescuers and providing rescue materials."
Saying that rescuers should launch emergency rescue operations efficiently to minimize losses when faced with disasters, the provincial governor criticised that "the managing staff in the Dongfeng Coal Mine failed to manage rescue work efficiently."
Coal mine accidents that caused over 100 deaths (updated as of 6 December 2005)
Sources: Xinhuanet (6 December 2005), China Labour Bulletin