In China’s worst mine accident this year, at least 35 miners are confirmed trapped in a flooded private iron ore mine in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, local officials said today.
Previous report said 36 miners were trapped, but the rescue headquarters revised the figure.
The flood occurred shortly after midnight today at Haolaigou Iron Ore Mine in Donghe District, near the city of Baotou, when miners were changing shifts. Only 11 miners escaped as water had flooded three of the mine’s vertical shafts, trapping the miners below.
Rescuers were attempting to reach one of the flooded shafts through a tunnel used to discharge ore residue, an official said.
“We expect to connect with the flooded shaft by noon tomorrow,” Xinhua news agency quoted the official as saying.
Chairman of the autonomous region, Yang Jing has instructed rescuers to do everything possible to rescue the trapped miners. He also ordered all mines in Baotou to suspend operations till “they are proved legal and safe after a thorough safety examination”.
The legal representative of Chaoyue Mining Co Ltd of Baotou City, which owns Haolaigou Iron Ore Mine, is under police surveillance.
Chinese mining industry, especially the coal mines suffer frequent accidents, including flooding, cave-ins and gas blasts, due to poor safety conditions and lacks supervision by local governments.
There were 2,945 coal mine accidents in China last year in which 4,746 people died, equivalent to 13 miners dead per day, the State Administration of Work Safety said.