Rescue ending at Chinese mine where 74 killed

Rescuers ended efforts on Monday to find more survivors at a northern China coal mine where at least 74 people were killed the day before in underground explosions in the country's deadliest mine disaster in a year.
HT Image
HT Image
Updated on Feb 23, 2009 09:42 AM IST
Copy Link
None | By, China

Rescuers ended efforts on Monday to find more survivors at a northern China coal mine where at least 74 people were killed the day before in underground explosions in the country's deadliest mine disaster in a year.

Of the more than 300 survivors of the accident at the Tunlan mine, 114 remained in the hospital, five of them in critical condition, said an official with the Shanxi provincial government spokesman's office, speaking on condition of anonymity, citing policy.

The spokesman said the cause of the blast remains under investigation.

The mine's manager, chief safety officer and chief engineer have been removed from their posts as part of the investigation, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Xinhua did not identify the men by name or give other details.

A statement posted on the provincial government Web site said final checks on the mine were being conducted.

"The next step is to double-check at the bottom of the well ... to treat the injured and properly save all the data files in preparation for the investigation," the statement said. A half-dozen ambulances stood parked on Monday and a pair of policemen guarded the gates into the shaft of the mine in Gujiao near the provincial capital of Taiyuan _ in contrast to the frenzied rescue operation that followed Sunday's pre-dawn explosions. Then, rescuers wearing headlamps and oxygen backpacks carried dozens of miners to safety.

But on Monday, cleaners simply swept up around the two stone lions marking the entrance to the mine.

The mine belonging to the state-run Shanxi Coking Group, China's largest producer of coking coal, and had boasted an excellent safety record. The company is the world's second-largest producer of coking coal, used in the production of steel, with sales revenues of more than 37 billion yuan ($5.4 billion) in 2007.

One survivor, Xue Huancheng, was quoted by Xinhua on Sunday as saying he had been ordered to flee because the ventilation system had broken down, possibly triggering a safety alarm. Xie, like most of the other survivors, suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, Xinhua said, citing doctors. Exposure to carbon monoxide _ an odorless, colorless gas _ can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and can lead to death.

Most coal mine explosions are sparked by the accumulation of unventilated coal gas.

Xinhua said the Tunlan Coal Mine had among the best facilities of any mine in China and no major accidents had occurred there in five years.

The death toll was the highest from a China coal mine accident since December 2007, when gas exploded in an unventilated tunnel in Linfen city, also in Shanxi province, killing 105 miners. Beijing has promised for years to improve mine safety, and more than 1,000 dangerous small mines were closed last year. But China's mining industry remains the world's deadliest.

About 3,200 people died in coal mine accidents last year, a 15 per cent decline from the previous year.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Newly-appointed British chancellor of the exchequer Nadhim Zahawi.

    Nadhim Zahawi: Rishi Sunak's successor whose family fled Saddam Hussein's regime

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday appointed Nadhim Zahawi as the new chancellor of the exchequer, replacing Rishi Sunak who had earlier resigned from the cabinet in protest against Johnson's leadership. Zahawi's appointment also comes at a time when the British government is trying to tackle the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation. As a trained chemical engineer, Zahawi went on to work in the oil industry. He backed Brexit in 2016.

  • FILE PHOTO: A general view of village houses at Hong Kong border facing the skyscrapers in Shenzhen, in Hong Kong, China.

    Why property developers in China accepting house payments in watermelons, wheat

    Real estate firms in China have now started accepting payments for homes in watermelon, wheat, garlic and several other agricultural produce, Chinese daily The Global Times reported. Realtors in tier-3 and 4 cities are encouraging home buyers to pay part of the house payment with wheat and garlic. Experts say that China's economy, battered by multiple Covid-19 curbs, has shown slow post-lockdown recovery.

  • A man clears debris from a driveway near a bus inundated by floodwaters on a residential street, following heavy rains and severe flooding in the McGraths Hill suburb of Sydney, on July 6, 2022. 

    Homes of 85,000 people at risk, but rain eases around Sydney

    Floodwaters had inundated or were threatening the homes of 85,000 people around Sydney on Wednesday as rivers started to recede and the heavy rains tracked north of Australia's largest city. Emergency responders knocked on doors overnight in the towns of Singleton and Muswellbrook, in the Hunter Valley north of Sydney, to order residents to evacuate, Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke said. “For many, it has been a sleepless night,” Cooke said.

  • Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, foreground and Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak take part in a cabinet meeting.

    ‘Will have to drag him kicking and screaming': UK PM Boris Johnson on the brink

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will face questions in parliament followed by a grilling by senior lawmakers on Wednesday, with his premiership on the brink after a slew of resignations from ministers saying he was not fit to govern. A growing number of lawmakers in his ruling Conservative Party have said the game is up for Johnson.

  • Rishi Sunak reacts as Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, in London.

    ‘Cannot continue like this’: What Rishi Sunak said as he quit Johnson cabinet

    British chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid quit the government on Tuesday amid mounting pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson for appointing a tarnished member of the Parliament to a key government position.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, July 06, 2022