China coal mine explosion kills 12
06 January 2017
At least twelve people were killed after a gas explosion and roof collapse at a coal mine in central China’s Henan Province. The explosion took place on January 4 at Xingyu Colliery in Xuzhuang Township in the city of Dengfeng. After gas density in the colliery was lowered to safe levels, rescuers entered the shaft and found first five and then another seven bodies, according to Xinhua.
"The high gas density and huge amount of coal debris in the shaft affected our rescue work at the beginning," said Hu Wenliang, head of a rescue team.
The accident happened as workers were expanding a pipeway in the colliery, causing the gas outburst. Thirty-nine of the 51 people underground at the time of the accident managed to escape.
An initial investigation indicated that the accident was caused by human error. "We initially judge the accident to be caused by the improper operations of on-duty workers," said Bu Lianying, chief engineer of the colliery.
Xingyu Colliery, built in 1975, is licensed and has an approved annual capacity of 330,000 tonnes.
The colliery had temporarily suspended production to check hidden dangers on December 12 and had resumed operations on December 29 with government approval, according to Chen Zhilong, vice mayor of Dengfeng.