China emergency crews struggling to rescue 18 miners

China emergency crews struggling to rescue 18 miners

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a worker is carried on a stretcher out of the Longyun coal mine in Yuncheng County, east China's Shandong Province on Sunday. AP/PTI

Emergency crews are struggling to rescue 18 coal miners trapped underground in eastern China following a collapse inside the shaft three days earlier.

Three miners were killed by falling rocks in the accident which happened on Saturday in Shandong province that also destroyed part of a drainage tunnel.

State media on Tuesday showed ambulances standing by at the mine entrance and crews equipped with oxygen tanks heading underground.

More than 300 people were working inside the mine at the time of the collapse and most were successfully lifted to safety.

China is infamous for the world's deadliest coal mines but safety has improved considerably with more modern equipment, better training and the closure of most of the smallest, most dangerous mines. China relies heavily on coal for energy and heating.