Over a dozen dead, 20 trapped after coal mine explosion in SW China

CCTV News

Rescuers work at Jinshangou Coal Mine in Laisu Town of Yongchuan District in Chongqing, southwest China, Oct. 31, 2016. (Photo/Xinhua) Rescuers work at Jinshangou Coal Mine in Laisu Town of Yongchuan District in Chongqing, southwest China, Oct. 31, 2016. (Photo/Xinhua)

A powerful coal mine explosion in Southwestern China has left over a dozen dead. It happened in the town of Lai-Su, a district of Chong-qing. Over 200 rescuers are working to find those still trapped.

CCTV’s Meng Qingsheng reported from Chongqing.

Over a dozen dead, 20 trapped after coal mine explosion in SW China

Over a dozen dead, 20 trapped after coal mine explosion in SW China

A powerful coal mine explosion in Southwestern China has left over a dozen dead. It happened in the town of Lai-Su, a district of Chong-qing. Over 200 rescuers are working to find those still trapped.

A gas explosion ripped through a coal mine in southwest China on Monday that trapped 33 miners. Two other miners were able to escape and have been hoisted to safety.

So far, officials have established at least 13 dead as a result of the explosion. Eighteen miners are still trapped in the mine, though their health condition remains unknown. Medical workers and first aid equipment are on standby at the scene.

The remaining 20 miners face danger of toxic gas and tunnel collapse. Those same dangers also hinder efforts for search and rescue workers.

Images from Lai-Su

Click on images for full-screen gallery.

The blast occurred at 11:30 a.m. at the Jinshangou Coal Mine in Laisu, Yongchuan District, of the sprawling Chongqing region.

Thirty-five miners were working in the shaft at the time.

Such accidents are often caused when a flame or electrical spark ignites gas leaking from the coal seam. Ventilation systems are supposed to prevent gas from becoming trapped.

Local authorities have started investigation into the cause of the explosion and checking the qualification of the coal mine.

China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal but has announced plans to shutter more than 1,000 outdated mines.

The head of China’s State Administration of Work Safety said this year that struggling coal mines might be likely to overlook maintenance.

Story by the Associated Press and Xinhua.