Authorities say at least 21 miners were killed Tuesday when a coal and gas outburst took place in a mine in China’s southwestern Guizhou province.
According to Xinhuanet, the accident occurred at around 8:00 pm Tuesday at Machang Coal Mine, which belongs to Gemudi Company of Guizhou Water & Mining Group.
The victims were among 83 coal miners who were working underground when a blast happened.
The State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) said Wednesday that rescue efforts had been started but were somewhat difficult as the toxic gas density in the mine shaft remained high.
State media reported that 58 miners escaped the blast and managed to get to surface safely.
Another four miners remain missing and are believed to be buried under rocks.
Unfortunately Tuesday’s Guizhou mine accident was just the latest incident of its kind in China, the world’s largest producer of coal.
Last August, 45 people died as a result of a gas explosion at the Xiaojiawan coal mine in Southern China.
China’s coal mines have long been the world’s deadliest, although the government announced last month that the death toll fell by more than 30 per cent last year to 1,384 as a result of stricter management.
Here is a video on the dangerous life of a coal miner in China:
According to HazardEx, SAWS is also working on improving safety at non-coal mines, and has announced its plans to suspend or shut down operations in over 5,000 non-coal mines that do not meet or exceed safety regulations this year.
The target is to keep the death toll below 900 in these types of mines in 2013, SAWS said.