China mine blast kills 11, traps 25
BEIJING, China – A truck carrying explosives blew up near the entrance of an iron-ore mine in northeast China on Tuesday, killing 11 people, injuring nine and leaving another 25 trapped underground, state media reported.
Some 23 victims stuck inside the mine run by Huamei Group – a subsidiary of China National Coal Group Co – in Liaoning province were able to contact rescuers, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
The workers were drilling a mining shaft when the truck exploded just after 4:00 p.m. (0800 GMT) near the entrance to the mine, the broadcaster said.
The Ministry of Emergency Management and the local government of Benxi, where the blast occurred, were coordinating the rescue efforts, CCTV added.
As of 10:00 p.m., the electricity and ventilation systems in the mine had been revived, and rescuers were repairing the underground lift systems, state-run Xinhua news agency said.
The injured have been rushed to the hospital. Rescue work is still underway.
Deadly mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record.
A gas leak killed at least 18 people working in a coal mine in central Hunan province in May last year.
In December 2016, explosions in two separate coal mines in the Inner Mongolia region and in Heilongjiang killed at least 59 people.
Earlier that year, 33 miners were killed in a colliery explosion in October in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, and in September, at least 18 were killed in a mine blast in the northwestern Ningxia region.
In another incident that captivated the country’s attention, four miners were rescued in January 2016 after they spent 36 days trapped in a collapsed gypsum mine in eastern Shandong province.
The incident drew comparisons to a 2010 mining accident in Chile, which saw 33 miners trapped underground for 69 days before their rescue. /kga
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