23 miners rescued after 11 killed in China pit blast
Two still missing after explosion at iron ore mine in Liaoning province
Rescuers pulled 23 workers out of a mine in northeast China on Wednesday, hours after they were trapped underground by an explosion that killed 11 and left two others missing, state media reported.
Nine other workers who were above ground were injured in Tuesday’s blast at the iron ore mine in Benxi in China’s northeastern province of Liaoning which borders North Korea.
The explosion at the mine owned by Huamei Group, a subsidiary of China National Coal Group, happened when miners were sending explosives down a 1km (3,280-feet)-deep shaft, destroying the pit’s hoisting system, according to the state-run news agency Xinhua.
State broadcaster CCTV had earlier reported that a truck carrying explosives had blown up near the mine’s entrance.
Six miners were lifted out of the shaft at 5.20 am on Wednesday and 17 others were pulled up about two hours later, Xinhua reported. The rescued were all described as being in good condition.
The search was still underway for the two missing miners and the mine’s electricity, ventilation systems and hoisting system were back online, Xinhua said.
Deadly mining accidents are common in China where the industry has a poor safety record.
A gas leak killed at least 18 people working in a coal mine in central Hunan province in May last year.
In December 2016, explosions in two separate coal mines in the Inner Mongolia region and in Heilongjiang province killed at least 59 people.
Earlier the same year, 33 miners were killed in a colliery explosion in October in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing and in September at least 18 were killed in a mine blast in the northwestern Ningxia region.
In another incident that captivated the country’s attention, four miners were rescued in January 2016 after they spent 36 days trapped in a collapsed gypsum mine in eastern Shandong province.