Gas explosion kills 19 in latest China coal mine disaster
30 September 2016
An explosion at a coal mine left 19 miners dead in the city of Shizuishan, in north west China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Xinhua News Agency said on September 28. Illegal mining methods caused the gas explosion in the mine the previous day, the report said, and rescue efforts were hampered by excessive gas concentrations in the destroyed mine shaft.
Officials said Linli Coal Mining Co owned the mine, which can produce up to 450,000 metric tonnes of coal a year. Authorities have detained the company’s senior executives, and rescuers are searching for one miner who is unaccounted for, Xinhua said.
The number of fatalities is the second-largest in a single coal-mining accident this year. In March, 20 workers died in another colliery explosion in central Shanxi province. A total of 207 people have died in Chinese mines in the first half of the year.
Deaths in China’s coal mines, which produce around half the world’s coal, have fallen sharply in recent years—to 768 in 2015 from a record 6,995 in 2002—according to data from the State Administration of Work Safety.
As part of the push for greater state control over coal operations, the government has ordered 500 million tonnes of coal capacity to be phased out by the end of 2020. Linli has a permit to produce coal until September 2017, Xinhua said.