Rescuers at the site of a coal mine explosion that killed 150 people say an additional 33 miners may be missing, bringing the total number of missing people to 34, state TV reported Wednesday. The blast occurred Sunday at the Dongfeng Coal Mine in Heilongjiang province. Officials initially said that 221 miners were underground at the time of the explosion but records now show that 254 were registered to be working at the time, China Central Television said.
"Rescue headquarters is now conducting a general inspection to find out where the 33 people are," CCTV said.
So far, 148 bodies have been recovered from the mineshaft and 72 miners rescued, CCTV said. That left one person missing under the original tally of 221 miners underground, but the updated records show an additional 33 people missing. Two people also were killed above ground, bringing the overall death toll to 150.
The blast prompted national leaders to demand stricter enforcement of safety rules in China's mining industry, by far the world's deadliest, with thousands of fatalities a year in fires, floods and other accidents, reports the AP. I.L.