BEIJING – At least 18 people died from suffocation in central China’s Hunan Province due to gas leakage in a coal mine, local authorities said on Monday morning.

According to, gas started leaking at the Jilinqiao colliery in Huangfengqiao Township, Youxian County, about 11am on Sunday, when a total of 55 workers were busy in their working the mining shaft.

Rescue workers have brought 37 miners to safety and sent them to the hospital for treatment. Investigators are still testing substances in the poisonous gas.