Nine trapped after another coal mine floods in China
CHANGZHI, CHINA (BNO NEWS) — Rescue workers are attempting to free nine mine workers who became trapped on early Friday morning when a coal mine flooded in northern China, state-run media reported.
The incident happened at around 1 a.m. local time on Friday at the Shanfu Coal Mine near the city of Changzhi in Xiangyuan County, which is located in Shanxi province. Only few details about the accident were available as of late Friday evening.
Officials from the Changzhi municipal government told the state-run Xinhua news agency that rescue workers from a nearby mine rushed to the site and are working to drain the pit. Xinhua said the cause of the accident is being investigated, but gave no other details.
Earlier this week, the Kongzhuang Coal Mine in Peixian county of Jiangsu province was also flooded. Of the ten miners who were working at the mine at the time of the accident, three were able to escape while the bodies of four miners were later recovered. Three others are believed to be still missing.
Safety conditions at mines in China have significantly improved in recent years but they remain among the world’s most dangerous with 1,083 fatalities in the first seven months of 2011 alone. There were 2,433 fatalities in 2010 and 2,631 in 2009.
On March 16, thirteen miners were killed when an elevator fell out of control and slammed into the bottom of the Shimen Iron Ore Mine in Lucheng township, which is located in Cangshan county in Shandong province. The accident occurred when a steel rope which was carrying the elevator broke, causing it to plummet to the bottom of the pit.
China in recent years shut down scores of small mines to improve safety and efficiency in the mining industry. The country has also ordered all mines to build emergency shelter systems by June 2013 which are to be equipped with machines to produce oxygen and air conditioning, protective walls and airtight doors to protect workers against toxic gases and other hazardous factors.
The first manned test of such a permanent underground chamber was carried out in August 2011 when around 100 people – including managers, engineers, miners, medical staff, and the chamber’s developers – took part in a 48-hour test at a mine owned by the China National Coal Group in the city of Shuozhou in northern China’s Shanxi Province.
One of the worst mining accidents in China in recent years happened in November 2009 when 104 workers were killed after several explosions at a coal mine in Heilongjiang province.