21 killed in China coal mine accident

Rescuers at the coal mine owned by Baiji Mining in Shaanxi, China, yesterday. A total of 87 people were working underground when the roof of the mine collapsed on Saturday and 66 were safely evacuated. Rescuers found two remaining miners dead yesterd
Rescuers at the coal mine owned by Baiji Mining in Shaanxi, China, yesterday. A total of 87 people were working underground when the roof of the mine collapsed on Saturday and 66 were safely evacuated. Rescuers found two remaining miners dead yesterday, bringing the death toll to 21.PHOTO: XINHUA NEWS AGENCY

BEIJING • The death toll in a coal mine roof collapse in northern China has risen to 21 after rescuers found two more miners dead yesterday, state media reported.

A total of 87 people were working underground in the Shaanxi province mine at the time of the accident on Saturday afternoon, according to official news agency Xinhua, citing local authorities.

Rescuers had been searching for two remaining trapped miners but found them dead yesterday morning, Xinhua reported. Another 66 miners were safely evacuated from the mine.

The cause of the accident at the site, run by privately owned Baiji Mining, is still under investigation.

Private coal mines in China typically take fewer safety precautions than larger state-owned mines.

Information about the accident cannot be disclosed, said a driver at the company who answered Baiji's registered phone number. The mine is a small-scale operation, he said, declining to give his name.

Deadly mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record despite efforts to improve coal production conditions and crack down on illegal mines.

Deadly mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record despite efforts to improve coal production conditions and crack down on illegal mines.

In December last year, seven miners were killed and three others injured in an accident at a coal mine in south-west China.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2019, with the headline '21 killed in China coal mine accident'. Print Edition | Subscribe