Rescuers on Monday were still searching for the 30 miners
trapped in a coal mine explosion which had claimed 17 lives in
north China's Shanxi Province on Sunday.
About 90 rescuers in eight teams went down more than 300 meters
to search for the trapped miners, while others were busy moving
exhaust fans, cables, timber and other materials into the mine.
Officials with the rescue headquarters said the resumption of
ventilation and power supply is vital for rescue operation.
Initial investigations suggest that human errors were blamed for
the fatal accident.
The mine should have been evacuated since gas had accumulated to
a dangerous level on Sunday morning after exhaust fans stopped
working due to power failure. However, power supply resumed without
safety measures and caused the explosion.
According to the rescue headquarters, 393 workers were working
in the mine when the blast took place, and 346 miners escaped.
The accident occurred at 11 AM Sunday in the Jiaojiazhai Coal
Mine of Xuangang Company under Datong Coal Mine Group, in Xinzhou,
a central-north city of Shanxi Province.
All the victims are miners of Datong Coal Mine Group.
The Shanxi government on Monday ordered all the coal mines in
the coal-rich province to operate in accord with work safety
regulations, saying any one who violates regulations will be
Director of the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) Li
Yizhong and head of the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety Li
Tiechui rushed to the site to organize rescue operations.
The SAWS said on Monday that coal mine accidents saw a rapid
rise since early October, and 345 people were killed in 174 such
accidents in October, up 44.4 percent and 26.1 percent respectively
The administration attributed the increase of coal mine
accidents to relaxed management on safety in production, saying
that coal mine safety was quite a "serious" problem threatening the
(Xinhua News Agency November 7, 2006)