Blast kills 19 in China

MINERS trapped in a coal mine in northeast China have been confirmed dead after a two day rescue effort.

Angie Tomlinson

Rescuers retrieved the bodies from the Shunfa coal mine on Monday, official news agency Xinhua reported.

Twenty-one miners were underground at the time of the blast, which is being blamed on a build-up of gas and dust in the shaft.

According to Xinhua, investigations showed the mine's operator, whose licence had been suspended, had illegally resumed production before the accident occurred.

The mine's owner has been detained by police.