Substandard explosives and unsafe production practices were to blame for a coal mine disaster in north China that killed 27 workers and left another seven trapped underground, state media said on Sunday.
More than 3,700 died in coal mines last year making China, the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal, home to the world’s deadliest mining industry. Despite government efforts to clean up the sector, owners often push production limits to maximise profits.
“Investigations showed the mining company had exceeded its production quota, mined at unapproved working areas and was equipped with poor ventilation facilities,” Xinhua news agency cited Zhao Tiechui, director of the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety, as saying.
The explosion on Friday at a mine belonging to the Anxin Coal Mining Co took place when 58 miners were underground. Fifteen managed to escape and nine were rescued.
But according to the safety rules, only 29 people were allowed to be working underground at any given time, Xinhua said. It said substandard explosives spontaneously ignited, causing the deadly blast.
The search for the remaining seven miners was halted on Saturday after rescuers found unused explosives and detonators in the shaft.