Four dead, nearly 50 missing in China mine spill

February 24, 2023: On Thursday, state media reported that the death toll at a coal mine has disappeared in China’s Inner Mongolia region increased to at least four people, with six injured and 49 went missing. On Wednesday, state media reported

 that the collapse at an open-pit mine, including Alxa League, operated by Xinjiang Coal Mining Co, left a pile of debris almost 8 500 m (550 yards) across and approximately 80 m high.

“I had just begun work at 1:15 in the afternoon when I understood that rocks were decreasing from the mountain,” a hospitalized miner told state broadcaster CCTV on Thursday.

“I saw that the situation was getting increasingly serious, and an evacuation was scheduled, but it was too late. The mountain just collapsed.”

President Xi Jinping started to search and rescue efforts on Wednesday, state media reported, although a second landslide in the evening hampered finding survivors.

“We must make every possible effort to help the missing persons and treat the harmed,” Xi said.

Premier Li Keqiang also started a quick investigation into the cause of the collapse.

Coal is a significant source of energy in China. Still, its mines are among the world’s deadliest, mainly due to lax enforcement of safety standards, despite repeated administration orders for improvements in safety over the years.

China’s mines have also been trying to improve output over the past year under an administration’s call for more excellent supplies and stable prices. Inner Mongolia is the top coal-producing region of the country.

On Thursday, state media said three hundred fire-helping personnel, almost 60 fire engines, and six search and retrieval dogs were at the scene to aid the search for trapped miners.

The National Health Commission said that six injured people had been rescued, and it had given 15 ambulances and 45 medical staff to assist with the rescue.

According to state media, the underground mine was changed into an open-pit operation in 2012. State media said it had suspended production for three years before restarting in April 2021.

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