Rescuers who earlier saved 115 miners trapped for eight days underground have found seven bodies at a flooded coal mine in China.

It is believed 31 miners were still trapped inside the unfinished Wangjialing mine in northern Shanxi province.

A spokesman from the rescue headquarters said that rescue work has resumed and teams were moving towards the last two underground work platforms as pumps slowly lowered the water level in the shafts.

The search for the remaining miners was temporarily suspended when it was discovered that a highly explosive gas had accumulated in the pit.

A total of 153 miners were trapped inside the mine for more than a week after it flooded on 28 March.

According to reports, China’s State Administration of Work Safety has blamed the accident on a safety violation during construction of the mine.

The Wangjialing mine is run by a joint venture of two state-owned companies, China National Coal and Shanxi Coking Coal.