Beijing: At least 19 workers were killed and one other was listed missing when a gas explosion ripped through a coal mine in northwest China, the latest mining disaster in the world’s largest coal producing country.
The explosion took place Tuesday morning at the small coal mine belonging to Linli Coal Mining Company Limited in Shizuishan city in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region. Twenty miners were working underground at the time of the accident, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
One mine worker died after he was rescued from the shaft and the bodies of 17 miners have been pulled above the ground. One of the two missing workers was declared dead while a manhunt was on to trace the other, state broadcaster CCTV said. More than 200 rescuers have been mobilised.
Local officials said at a press conference on Wednesday that representatives of the company that owned the mine, the Linli Coal Mining, were now in police custody. Authorities said that the representatives of the company that owns the coal mine have been arrested.
Though safety improvements have reduced deaths at coal mines in recent years, mining accidents are common in China, which is the world’s largest coal producer.
Ninteen people were killed in March in a similar accident in the northern Shanxi province.