The likely fate of the 12 remaining trapped miners is bleak, with reports another blast is possible because of high levels of gas underground.
Eleven miners escaped the mine in north-west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Meanwhile, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao called on the coal mining industry to focus attention on workplace safety after the two explosions this week. A coal mine explosion Monday took the lives of 34 miners at the state-owned No. 2 colliery of the Henan Hebi Coal Group in China's Henan Province, leaving 19 people injured.
The premier said special attention should be paid to workplace safety during the current week-long National Day holiday.