Beijing (ANTARA News/Reuters) - High levels of carbon monoxide have forced rescuers to suspend their efforts to save 19 coal miners trapped in a colliery in southern China, state media said on Monday, two days after it collapsed.

Xinhua said the mine located in Heshan in Guangxi region collapsed due to non-stop heavy rain. While 49 miners managed to escape, 19 remained trapped, the report said. Rescuers have already recovered three bodies.

"The location of the trapped miners has been identified, but their conditions are unclear," Xinhua said, citing the rescuers. Carbon monoxide and other toxic gases were found "gushing out" of the mine in the early hours of Monday morning, the source of which remains a mystery, it added.

The rescue will be resumed as soon as possible, Xinhua said. China`s mines are the deadliest in the world, due to lax safety standards and a rush to feed demand from a robust economy.

In 2010, 2,433 people died in coal mine accidents in China, though this was an improvement on the toll of 2,631 in the previous year.

(SYS) (*)

Editor: Ella Syafputri
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