Rescuers were pumping water out of the flooded coal mine yesterday as they searched for the missing workers.
Meanwhile, the mine owner and managers were reported to be in hiding after the flood, Xinhua News Agency said. The owner did not have a safety license for the mine.
Some 76 miners were working underground at the time of the flooding and 34 escaped. There has been no word on the fate of the missing miners and the cause of the flood is under investigation, Xinhua said.
On the same day 16 other miners died in an explosion at another coal mine in the southern province of Guizhou.
Meanwhile, the death toll from the November 27 coal mine explosion has risen to 169 with two miners still missing. Coal dust was blamed for the disaster at the Dongfeng Coal Mine in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.
Last week police detained two Communist Party officials in charge of the Dongfeng coal mine. Ma Jinguang and Chen Zhiqiang, the chief and secretary of the party at the mine were detained for alleged "dereliction of duty," China Daily reported.
By last Thursday the bodies of more than 100 miners had been identified by their relatives who will receive about $US25,000 in compensation.