More than 50 missing in Inner Mongolia

The National Health Commission said on Wednesday evening six injured people had been rescued and it had sent 15 ambulances and 45 medical staff to help with the rescue.

The company running the mine, Inner Mongolia Xinjing Coal Industry Co Ltd, was cited and fined last year for multiple safety violations ranging from insecure access routes to the mining surface to unsafe storage of volatile materials and a lack of training for its safety overseers, according to the news website The Paper.

Inner Mongolia is a key region for mining of coal and various minerals and rare earths, which critics say has ravaged the original landscape of mountains, grassy steppes and deserts.

Inner Mongolia is among the country’s top coal producers, and like other regions in China has been producing at a heightened rate over the past year or so under a government call to boost local supply and stabilise prices. The country overwhelmingly relies on coal for power generation.

It has tried to reduce the number of deadly mine accidents through a greater emphasis on safety and the closure of smaller operations that lacked necessary equipment.

Most mining deaths are attributed to explosions caused by the build-up of methane and coal dust, or to drownings caused when miners break into shafts that had been abandoned due to flooding.


China has recorded a slew of deadly industrial and construction accidents in recent months as a result of poor safety training and regulation, official corruption and a tendency to cut corners by companies seeking to make profits. The economy has slowed, partly as a result of draconian lockdowns and quarantines imposed under the now-abandoned zero-COVID policy.

In one of the worst recent incidents, 38 people were killed in a fire at a company dealing with chemicals and other industrial goods in the central province of Henan that was blamed on unsafe welding work.

Last month, an avalanche buried vehicles outside a highway tunnel in Tibet, killing at least 28. Many of those trapped were headed home for the Lunar New Year holiday.

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