Published: Nov 19, 2010 5:36 PM EST
Updated: Nov 19, 2010 2:45 PM EST

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - A mining company in New Zealand confirms it was a gas explosion that rocked one of its coal mines overnight, leaving 27 workers missing.

Five others were able to get to the surface. Rescue crews aren't able to enter the mine yet for fear of more gas buildup.

It's not clear if all of those underground are together or in separate groups.

Unlike the mine where dozens of workers were trapped for weeks in Chile, the New Zealand mine is not very deep. The coal seam that's being dug is horizontal, about 200 feet below the surface.