BEIJING – Rescue teams are continuing to search for the 16 miners, who are still trapped after a coal mine accident in Shandong in eastern China, in which five people have been killed so far, authorities said Thursday.
In the last few hours, emergency teams could rescue two corpses, raising the death toll to 5, and one miner alive from under the rubble.
The state of the miners, who were trapped after a rock burst ‘explosion’ inside the coal mine destroyed a section of a tunnel and blocked their exit late Saturday, is still unknown.
Out of the 334 miners, who were working in the mine, 312 could be rescued.
Meanwhile, another accident at a gas mine on Thursday killed four people and injured two in the southwestern Sichuan province, authorities said.
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.