SW China province begins mines probe after 4 killed in flooded coal mine

By Xu Keyue Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/15 17:51:46

Rescuers prepare to enter the flooded coal mine in Gongxian County of Yibin City in southwest China's Sichuan Province, Dec. 15, 2019. Four miners were found dead and 14 others remained trapped underground in a flooded coal mine in southwest China's Sichuan Province, local authorities said Saturday. Rescuers are making all-out efforts to search for the trapped. Nearly 200 personnel have joined in the rescue and professional rescue forces have entered the well, according to the provincial emergency management bureau. Photo: Xinhua/Xue Yubin

Southwest China's Sichuan Province has launched an inspection on potential safety hazards in mines across the province after 4 people were killed and 14 were trapped underground in a flooded coal mine in a county in Yibin, local authorities said Sunday.

Rescuers have located the fourteen miners trapped underground. But the fate of the trapped miners remains unknown. 

Early notice from the Yibin local government showed that drilling rigs, which can drill to a depth of 1 kilometer, would be used in the rescue. 

Eleven national emergency rescue teams made up of 190 people have joined the rescue, according to the statement provided by China's Ministry of Emergency Management to the Global Times on Sunday.

Sixteen submersible pumps have been deployed to pump and drain the trapped area; compressed air is being piped into the areas where people may be trapped.

The incident happened Saturday afternoon at the Shanmushu coal mine owned by Sichuan Coal Industry Group in Gongxian county when 347 people were working in the mine. All but 18 managed to get out of the mine safely.

According to the Beijing News this is not the first accident at the coal mine. 

Twenty-six miners were endangered by gas in April, and seven were killed in a gas explosion at the mine in 2013, the report said. The mine has also been punished several times for violating safety laws.

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