BEIJING – Chinese authorities raised on Monday the death toll in a coal mine accident in eastern Shandong province to three after one miner died in hospital, while emergency services worked to save another 18 still trapped.
The death of the miner comes after being rescued on Sunday.
A rock burst “explosion” inside the coal mine in the province’s Yuncheng district late Saturday had trapped 334 miners working inside.
After the incident, rescue teams managed to evacuate most workers and recovered two bodies.
The condition of the remaining 18 miners trapped remained unknown, state-owned China Daily newspaper reported citing government officials.
The cause of the accident was being investigated; however, such incidents are usually triggered by explosions carried out inside the mines.
In China, mines, especially coal mines – the country’s main source of energy – are among the most dangerous in the world with a high rate of accidents, although in recent years fatalities have fallen significantly.
In 2017, there were 219 accidents in Chinese coal mines with 375 deaths, a drop of 28.7 percent from 2016 and 20 times lower than the figure recorded during the early 2000s, when up to 7,000 people died in mine accidents each year.