Gold mine explosion in China traps 22 workers underground

Damaged communication signal prevented rescuers from contacting the trapped miners following the accident in eastern Shandong province.

China's mines are among the world's deadliest [File: YM Yik/EPA]

Chinese authorities have sent rescue workers to a gold mine in the country’s northeast after 22 workers were trapped underground following an explosion, the Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.

The accident happened on Sunday in Xicheng Township, located in eastern Shandong province.

In a social media post, the state-run Global Times newspaper cited Shandong authorities as saying that rescue workers had so far been unable to contact the trapped miners.

According to Xinhua, the blast damaged the communication signal system underground, preventing communication.

Xinhua says the mine is owned by Shandong Wukailong Investment, which is named by Zhaojin Mining, China’s fourth-biggest gold miner, as a related party or “subsidiary of an associate” in its 2019 annual report.

China’s mines are among the world’s deadliest.

In December, at least 18 people also died after being trapped in a mine in China’s southwestern city of Chongqing, the region’s second such accident in just over two months.

The dead were among 24 people trapped underground by excessive levels of carbon monoxide gas at the Diaoshuidong coal mine.

In September, at least 16 were killed after high levels of carbon monoxide trapped miners at the Songzao coal mine in Chongqing.

Source: Al Jazeera, Reuters