BEIJING (Reuters) – A coal mine roof collapse in northwest China’s Shaanxi province killed 21 miners on Saturday, the state-run People’s Daily reported on Sunday.
The accident is the deadliest reported so far this year in China’s coal industry, known for its poor safety record.
It occurred at Baiji Mining Co Ltd’s Lijiagou mine in the city of Shenmu at around 4:30 p.m. (0830 GMT) on Saturday, when 87 people were underground, the People’s Daily said.
Sixty-six miners were rescued but 21 were trapped underground, it reported. Nineteen of the miners were confirmed dead at first while a search continued for the two missing miners; however, they were later found dead.
Some mining firms in major coal hubs in Shandong and Henan provinces and parts of northeastern China have received notices from the National Coal Mine Safety Administration asking them to halt operations for inspections that will last until June, the state-backed Shanghai Securities News (SSN) reported on Friday.
On Sunday, the Xinhua News Agency said that Shanxi province, which borders Shaanxi, would also carry out inspections at high-risk coal mines.
Reporting by Tom Daly and Coco Li; Editing by Christian Schmollinger