China mine collapse: 47 people missing

Alsa League, China –

Workers trying to find 47 missing people after an open-pit mine in northern China collapsed had to change drilling methods to prevent further landslides, state media reported Friday. rice field.

As of Thursday night, six people have been confirmed dead and six injured have been rescued at a mine in Inner Mongolia’s Al Shah League, according to broadcaster CCTV.

The mine has a large collapse area and backhoe and bulldozer excavation can further expose it to collapse hazards. Crews are drilling layer by layer, making trapezoidal descents and continuing to search from both sides of the mountain in coordination with a rescue plan, the report said.

On Friday, heavy machinery was seen working on the top floor of a collapsed site, searching for trapped vehicles and missing persons.

“It’s very difficult to carry out rescue operations,” Li Zhongzeng, head of Inner Mongolia’s Al Shah League, told CCTV. .”

The first subsidence of one of the pit’s walls occurred around 1 p.m. Wednesday, burying people and mining trucks below under a large amount of rock and sand. A short video of the collapse posted on the Beijing Times website showed a massive wall of reddish dirt and sand running down the slope and hitting mining vehicles moving below.

A landslide then occurred about five hours later, halting rescue efforts before resuming on Thursday.

CCTV said 1,160 rescue workers are currently on the scene. They were seen searching for miners using heavy equipment, shovels and rescue dogs.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for an “all-out” search and rescue operation.

Emergency Management Minister Wang Xiangxi said the authorities should investigate the disaster and be held accountable for it.

Authorities in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region also issued an emergency notice asking all districts to conduct safety checks and eliminate hidden risks, according to a local state-run newspaper. All levels of government must learn lessons from the collapse and begin planning inspections of open pit mines in the region immediately, he said. He added that those who did not comply with the request and caused an accident would be held accountable.

Security was heavily guarded at a checkpoint between Inner Mongolia and neighboring Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region on Friday, with two police officers in yellow vests guarding a vehicle as it attempted to pass through what was dubbed the “no-go zone.” was checking.

Some trucks were denied entry, but others were allowed through, including ambulances with sirens going very fast and trucks carrying relief supplies. The checkpoint seemed quieter than the day before.

The mine operator, Inner Mongolia Xinjing Soot Industry Co., Ltd., was fined last year for multiple safety violations, including unsafe routes, storage of dangerous volatiles and lack of safety training, according to news website The Paper. was done.

Inner Mongolia is an important area for coal, minerals and rare earth mining, which critics say has devastated the region’s mountains, grasslands and desert landscape.

China, which relies overwhelmingly on coal for power generation, is trying to reduce the number of deadly mining accidents by placing greater emphasis on safety and closing small businesses that lack the necessary equipment. there is


AP News Assistant Caroline Chen in Inner Mongolia contributed to this report.

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