Beijing (AFP) Aug 7, 2010
Sixteen workers died when a fire broke out in a gold mine in east China, state media reported Saturday, in the latest accident to hit the nation's notoriously dangerous mining sector this week.
Most of the victims died of toxic smoke inhalation underground or in hospital after the accident, which happened on Friday in Shandong province's Zhaoyuan city, the official Xinhua news agency said.
More than 300 miners had been working underground when the blaze started and most were lifted to ground level safely, but about 50 were left trapped, a spokesman for the rescue headquarters was quoted as saying.
Rescuers then gradually managed to pull more workers out until the last seven were rescued earlier Saturday.
Dozens of injured miners were sent to nearby hospitals, and most of these did not have life-threatening conditions, doctors were quoted as saying.
"We smelt a pungent odour and suspected something might have gone wrong. We closed the vents and waited to be rescued," said Lu Ming, one of the miners being treated in hospital, according to Xinhua.
The work safety bureaus in Zhaoyuan and Shandong refused to comment on the accident when contacted by AFP, and calls to the city and provincial governments went unanswered.
According to an initial investigation, the blaze broke out in a shaft at the gold mine when an electric cable caught fire. The mine was fully licensed but police have taken the director in for questioning, Xinhua said.
Meanwhile, a gas outburst at a coal mine in the southwestern province of Sichuan on Saturday trapped six miners underground, the report said, in yet another accident in the sector.
China's mining industry is plagued by lax regulation, corruption and inefficiency.
Earlier this week, a total of 32 people were killed in two coal mine accidents.
An explosion rocked a colliery Tuesday in the southwestern province of Guizhou, killing 16, state media reported.
Sixty miners were working underground when the accident happened in Renhuai city, but many managed to escape or were saved.
Late Monday, 16 workers were killed when deadly gas leaked into a pit at the Sanyuandong coal mine in Dengfeng city in central Henan province.
Last weekend, 24 miners were trapped in a flooded pit in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, while 17 others were killed in an explosion at a mine in the northern province of Shanxi.
The government regularly pledges to clean up safety problems in its mines but deadly accidents are still routine.
Only last month, Premier Wen Jiabao lamented the nation's "serious" work safety situation, ordering mining bosses to work side-by-side with workers in the pits to ensure that companies more closely observe safety rules.
Last year 2,631 miners were killed in China, according to official figures, but independent labour groups say the actual figure could be much higher as many accidents are covered up to avoid costly shutdowns.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes
Japanese rescue-bot can sniff out disaster survivors
Tokyo (AFP) July 30, 2010
Japanese emergency services are to trial a small tank-like rescue robot that can search rubble for survivors and deliver water, food or cellphones in disaster zones. The fire department of Chiba City, east of Tokyo, will test the QUINCE prototype from next month, said Eiji Koyanagi, robotic engineering expert at Chiba Institute of Technology. "People die because they despair. If the robo ... read more
China gold mine fire kills 16 workers|
Japanese rescue-bot can sniff out disaster survivors
Flood-triggered landslide in China leaves 21 missing
Haiti's homeless on the move again as hurricanes loom
Google phones unseat BlackBerry as top sellers in US
Acoustic Tests On New Glonass-K Satellite Completed
China Leads In Outer Space Pollution
MetOp-B Module Passes Crucial Vacuum Test
Obama to serve Gulf seafood at birthday bash: aide
Well kill doesn't mask grim reality for Gulf fishermen
Workers in China rush to restore water to 330,000 people
Pacific islands want louder voice on climate
'City-sized' ice island breaks off glacier
Ice drilling could foretell climate
Ice-Free Arctic Ocean May Not Be Of Much Use In Soaking Up Carbon Dioxide
Best Hope For Saving Arctic Sea Ice Is Cutting Soot Emissions
Alarm over Russia plan to destroy crop collection
Putin sows controversy with Russia grain ban
Russia bans grain exports due to drought
Rebuilding Flood Plains, Agriculture, Economy
Taiwan aborigines protest resettlement after deadly typhoon
North Korea floods destroy bridges, railways: state media
Pakistan PM calls for help as fresh rains hamper flood aid
Taiwan remembers 700 killed on typhoon anniversary
Reformers gain a toehold in Nigerian corruption fight
Mozambican-U.S. joint military exercise
More Somalis arrive from Saudi Arabia
GBissau records veterans in demobilisation drive
Scientists Unravel Human-Ecosystem Interactions
Walker's World: Sarkozy gets tough
Massive Gains For Women's Employment In India
Divers Plumb The Mysteries Of Sacred Maya Pools
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|