August 23, 2023
At least 11 people have died in a coal mine explosion in North China, and dozens more are believed to be still trapped.
The blast occurred late Monday on the outskirts of the historic city of Yan’an in mountainous Shaanxi province, where mining has long been a key driver of the local economy.
A total of 90 miners were in the shaft at the time of the explosion, which is still under investigation, the provincial Department of Emergency Management reported on social media.
At the time, nine miners were trapped inside and found with no vital signs. Two others were injured and died after rescue efforts failed, reported Al Jazeera.
While adding wind and solar power, China still remains dependent on coal for the bulk of its energy and is the world’s largest producer and consumer of the fuel source.
The mine explosion was the deadliest since the February collapse of an open-pit mine in the northern region of Inner Mongolia that killed more than 50 people.
Officials as high as Chinese leader Xi Jinping have called for safety improvements, but that seems to have had a limited effect on mining operations that frequently cut corners while local officials turn a blind eye, stated AP.
China has experienced a series of deadly industrial and construction accidents in recent months, often as a result of poor safety training and regulation, official corruption and corporate profit seeking.
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