TIRANA (Reuters) - Albanian rescue teams were still working on Monday to reach three Chinese mining engineers trapped since Saturday afternoon in a chrome mine at Bulqize after an explosion.

The gas explosion on Saturday has destroyed the ventilation system as well as one side of the well at the chrome mine, run by Albanian Chrome, owned by Albania's Balfin Group.

"The rescuers have managed to come 240 meters away from the spot where they are believed to be trapped," an official said.

"They are building a makeshift airing system as they go along because there is a lot of gas there. It is really hard work as they go down the well," the official told Reuters.


There has been no contact of any kind with the three since Saturday afternoon.

The Chinese Embassy confirmed earlier that the search operation was still going on. Three other Chinese miners suffered minor injuries.

The Chinese Embassy said the three Chinese mining specialists worked for the Wenzhou Corporation of Mining Tunnel Design, which had been contracted by Albanian Chrome.

(Reporting by Benet Koleka; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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