Latest: Coal mine accident kills 16 in southwest China


  • China
  • Sunday, 27 Sep 2020

Aerial photo taken on Sunday (Sept 27, 2020) shows the Songzao coal mine in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. A total of 17 people were trapped in the coal mine due to excessive level of carbon monoxide in Chongqing, local authorities said Sunday. The accident occurred at the Songzao coal mine, which belongs to a local energy company, in Qijiang District early Sunday morning, according to the district government. - Xinhua

CHONGQING, Sept. 27 (Xinhua): A total of 16 people were killed in a coal mine due to excessive levels of carbon monoxide in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, local authorities said Sunday.

The accident occurred at the Songzao coal mine, which belongs to a local energy company, in Qijiang District early Sunday morning, according to the district government.

The burning of belts in the mine caused carbon monoxide to exceed the safety limit, trapping 17 people.

Among them, 16 have been confirmed dead, while the other is being treated at the hospital.

Earlier, a 75-member rescue team has entered the mine, and 30 medical workers have rushed to the scene.

AFP reported the incident was triggered after a conveyor belt caught fire in the early hours of the morning, state news agency Xinhua cited the government as saying, which produced dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Medics are fighting to save the life of the remaining survivor, CCTV reported.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation, said the Qijiang district government on social media platform Weibo.

The facility, Songzao coal mine, is owned by state energy firm Chongqing Energy and located just outside the city of Chongqing.

Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced.

At least 14 miners were killed in a coal and gas blast last December at a mine in southwestern Guizhou province.

In December 2018, seven miners were killed in Chongqing after the connecting segment of a skip broke and fell down a shaft.

In October the same year, 21 miners died in eastern Shandong province after pressure inside a mine caused rocks to fracture and break, blocking the tunnel and trapping the workers. Only one miner was rescued alive.

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