World Neighbours 07 Jul 2016 2 killed, 11 missing ...

2 killed, 11 missing in coal mine accident in China

PTI | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jul 7, 2016, 6:29 pm IST
Updated Jul 7, 2016, 6:29 pm IST
The mine in Xihu district, Benxi city caught fire at around 3 am on Monday, trapping 13 miners about 500 meters underground. (Photo: Representational Image)
 The mine in Xihu district, Benxi city caught fire at around 3 am on Monday, trapping 13 miners about 500 meters underground. (Photo: Representational Image)

Beijing: Two persons have been killed and 11 others remained missing three days after a fire broke out at an illegal coal mine in China's northeast Liaoning province, rescue officials said on Thursday.

Rescuers found the bodies of two victims in the shaft on Thursday, according to the local rescue headquarters. The mine in Xihu district, Benxi city caught fire at around 3 am on Monday, trapping 13 miners about 500 meters underground, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Hao Chijun, head of the city's work safety bureau, said the colliery was shut down in 2004, but its owner secretly continued operations by building a coal washing plant and hiding the shaft within it.

The entrance of the shaft, about a meter high and two meters wide, was concealed behind a row of cabinets in the bathroom of the plant, the report said.

Initial investigations showed the fire was caused by a compressor about 400 meters underground in the shaft. The government has worked to eliminate this type of machine as they easily catch fire.

The owner, Jiang Shuhua, delayed reporting the fire, so rescuers arrived at least eight hours late than they should have. Jiang was arrested by the police.

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