Rescuers said Tuesday they had found the bodies of 51 miners and
errors had been made with the initial headcount of casualties
following last Saturday's colliery blast in north China's Shanxi Province.
At 9:00 AM Tuesday four miners were still missing in the coal
pit of Linjiazhuang Colliery of Lingshi County, Jinzhong City,
emergency rescue headquarters confirmed.
The rescue headquarters said 55 miners, instead of 57 as was
previously reported, had been trapped when the coal dust explosion
occurred at 4:40 PM last Saturday.
By Tuesday morning rescuers were able to give good news on
miners Qi Baoyin and Li Xinling who were thought to be among the
Qi had left the coal pit to make a phone call shortly before the
accident occurred, rescuers said. "When I hung up and reentered the
pit I saw dense smoke and sensed trouble. So I ran away as fast as
I could," he said. He was not immediately seen in the chaos
following the tragedy.
The other miner Li had been hospitalized in the neighboring city
of Jiexiu due to an industrial injury since July 7, rescuers
The rescue operation is still ongoing but a high density of
carbonic oxide has made it difficult, said Li Yizhong, head of the
State Administration of Work Safety, who is overseeing the rescue
Sixty-two miners were working in the pit when the blast went
off. Six managed to escape and another, suffering from
carbon-monoxide poisoning, was rescued, said local official An
A preliminary investigation shows the incident was triggered by
an unauthorized explosion in an adjacent mine. The city government
of Jinzhong has launched a crackdown on all illegal mines, urging
all such activities to be performed in line with strict safety
(Xinhua News Agency July 18, 2006)