22 coal miners trapped underground in Heilongjiang
At least 22 miners have been trapped underground following a gas explosion at a coal mine in Heilongjiang province, authorities said on Wednesday, the latest accident to hit the country’s coal mining industry.
The accident took place at about 9 pm at the Jingyou Coal Mine in Qitaihe, the city’s news office said on Wednesday.
Police have detained the mine owner, manager and other staff who could be liable, the news office said. City authorities have not approved production at the mine and its activities were illegal, it said.
The accident followed another two major coal mine accidents in the past two months. On Sept 28, a gas explosion at a coal mine in Shizuishan, Ningxia Hui autonomous region, killed 19 people and left one person missing. On Oct 31, a gas explosion at a coal mine in Chongqing killed 33 miners.
Authorities have organized a rescue team of more than 100 people as part of the rescue effort, and a special telephone line has been put into the mine to aid the rescue effort.
Rescue workers attempt to free 22 miners trapped underground at the Jingyou Coal Mine in Qitaihe, Heilongjiang province, on Wednesday.