China mine collapse: At least 2 dead

Beijing –

At least two people were killed and more than 50 missing after an open-pit mine collapsed in northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Wednesday, state media reported.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency said people were buried under rubble at Al Shah League mines. Six people were injured and rescued, while 53 are still listed as missing.

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.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called on China to “make every effort to search and rescue the missing and treat the wounded,” according to Xinhua news agency. Xi called for “ensuring the safety of people’s lives and property and maintaining the stability of society as a whole.”

More than 300 rescue workers operating 129 rescue vehicles were involved in the search, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Inner Mongolia Xinjing Soot Industry Co., Ltd., which operates the mine, was sued last year for multiple safety violations, including unsafe access routes to the mine surface, unsafe storage of volatile substances and lack of training of safety supervisors. fined. , according to news website The Paper.

Inner Mongolia is an important area for the mining of coal, various minerals and rare earths, which critics say has devastated the original landscape of mountains, grassy grasslands and deserts.

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

Most deaths in mines have been attributed to explosions caused by methane and coal dust accumulation, or to drowning caused when miners entered abandoned shafts due to flooding.

China has recorded a number of deadly industrial and construction accidents in recent months as a result of inadequate safety training and regulations, official corruption, and a tendency to cut corners by profit-seeking companies. The economy has slowed in part as a result of the stringent lockdowns and quarantines imposed under the now-abandoned “Zero COVID” policy.

In one of the worst recent incidents, 38 people died in a fire blamed on dangerous welding work at a chemical and other industrial products company in Henan province.

At least 28 people died last month when an avalanche buried cars outside a highway tunnel in Tibet.

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