Rescuers work to free 21 trapped in flooded China mine


BEIJING, April 11, 2021 (BSS/AFP) – Rescuers were working Sunday to reach 21 workers trapped in a coal mine in northwest China’s Xinjiang region after flooding cut power underground and disrupted communications, state media reported.

The accident happened in Fengyuan coal mine in Hutubi County on Saturday evening, when staff were carrying out upgrading works at the site, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Eight of the 29 workers who were at the scene have been rescued from the mine, according to preliminary reports.

Rescuers had ascertained the location of 12 of the 21 trapped miners, broadcaster CCTV said, but it was unclear in they were in the same location.

They were trying to pump water from the flooded shaft and have been piping air into the mine.

Pipes were being laid but the pumping operation was going to be challenging, CCTV said.

Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced.

In January, 22 workers were trapped in a mine in east China’s Shandong province after an explosion damaged the entrance, leaving workers stuck underground for about two weeks.

Eleven men were pulled out alive, 10 died and one miner remained unaccounted for.

In December, 23 miners died after being trapped underground in the southwest city of Chongqing — just months after 16 others died from carbon monoxide poisoning at another coal mine in the city.