At least 10 killed in China mining accident

Emergency management bureau in Pingdingshan city says the accident was caused by a coal and gas outburst.

Pingdingshan in China

At least 10 people have died and six are missing after an accident at a coal mine in central China, according to the local emergency management agency and state media.

In a statement on Saturday, the agency said it would continue rescue operations at the mine in the city of Pingdingshan and conduct citywide safety checks.

A total of 425 people were working underground when the accident took place, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Pingdingshan’s emergency management bureau said the accident occurred at about 2:55pm (06:55 GMT) on Friday due to a coal and gas outburst at the mine owned by China’s Pingdingshan Tianan Coal Mining company.

The emergency agency said it was investigating the cause of the accident.

A safety inspection campaign in coal-rich Pingdingshan, in Henan province, could disrupt coal production there and strain coal supplies.

Last November, coal prices in China jumped after the country’s cabinet promised to ramp up safety checks as deaths from accidents in the top coal-producing region Shanxi rose sharply.

Those in charge of the mine have been taken into custody, Xinhua reported, but did not say how many people were being held.

Mining safety in China has improved in recent decades, as has media coverage of major incidents, many of which were once overlooked.

However, accidents are still common in an industry with a poor safety record and where regulations are not necessarily enforced.

In 2022, 245 people died in 168 accidents, according to official figures.

Last month, 12 people were killed and 13 injured in a mining accident on the outskirts of Jixi city in northeastern Heilongjiang province.

Eleven people were killed in November in an accident at another coal mine in the same province.

And in September, at least 16 people were killed in a coal mine fire in southwest China’s Guizhou province.

Source: News Agencies