Rescuers rush to free 19 trapped miners in China's Qinghai province

At Chaida'er, 21 people were working underground at the time of the accident, and one person was rescued with injuries, China's emergency management ministry said. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

BEIJING (AFP) - Rescuers in north-western China worked on Sunday (Aug 15) to free 19 trapped coal miners, hours after their site was flooded by mud in an accident that has already killed one worker.

The flooding happened around noon on Saturday at the Chaida'er coal mine in Qinghai province, state media reported.

Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced.

At Chaida'er, 21 people were working underground at the time of the accident, and one person was rescued with injuries, China's emergency management ministry said.

Another was found dead, with the remaining trapped in the mine.

Qinghai authorities said in a Sunday press conference that the mine had been ordered to suspend production at the start of the month because of "severe safety hazards", the official Xinhua news agency reported.

More than 200 rescuers have been rushed to the scene, and local authorities have vowed a thorough investigation and an improvement in coal mine safety.

In January, a group of miners were trapped underground for about two weeks in China's eastern Shandong province. And in April, workers were stranded in another mine in the north-western Xinjiang region, after flooding cut power and disrupted communications.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.