Ten of the 17 miners working underground when the flooding occurred at the newly opened mine – in the Shaying township of Guanling county – were rescued initially, according to official news agency Xinhua.
Rescue workers dug a tunnel to the shaft where seven others miners were trapped. Five were located and after being brought to the surface they were sent to hospital. Another two miners remain trapped but their chances of survival look slim.
The cause of the flooding is under investigation.