Twenty-eight miners were still trapped underground Thursday while 63 others were rescued after a fire broke out in a coal mine in China's Shandong province Wednesday night, Xinhua reported.
A total of 91 people were trapped after an air compression device located in a parking lot 255 metres underground caught fire at 6.45 p.m. Wednesday, a provincial government spokesman said.
Over 1,000 people have joined in the rescue effort so far. Two teams of rescuers have entered the mine, and an underground rescue station has been set up. However, no contact could be established as yet with the trapped miners.
The fire was put out by Thursday noon, and temperature underground has been gradually decreasing, rescuers said.
Supplies of electricity and water have been stabilised and firefighters are standing by to combat any possible recurring fires.
An investigation into the cause of the fire has been launched.
The mine belongs to the Zaozhuang Fangbei Coal Mine Co. Ltd., headquartered in the province's Zaozhuang city.
The licensed mine was revamped in June 2010 to expand its production capacity. The revamping work was approved same year in October.