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Rescuers continue search for two missing miners

By HOU LIQIANG | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-07 07:18
Rescued miners are lifted to safety at an iron ore mine in Benxi, Liaoning province, on Wednesday. A total of 23 trapped miners have been rescued and two others are unaccounted for after a blast at 4:10 pm on Tuesday. PAN YULONG/XINHUA

Official: Those responsible for the accident should be held to account

Two of the 25 workers trapped after a deadly blast in an iron ore mine in Liaoning province remained missing on Wednesday, while none of those rescued had life-threatening injuries, the top emergency management authority said.

The blast occurred at 4:10 pm on Tuesday when workers were dropping explosives down the 1-kilometer-deep mine shaft. The explosion killed 11 people and injured nine aboveground. It also destroyed the hoisting system and trapped 25 workers underground, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.

The nine injured aboveground are receiving treatment in hospital. Five of them suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries.

The first batch of six miners was lifted out of the shaft around 5:20 am and another 17 were lifted out by 7:25 am on Wednesday. One of the rescued workers had broken legs and the others are in good condition, China Central Television reported.

To prevent damaged parts of the steel structures above the shaft from collapsing, rescuers spent almost a whole night removing or fixing them before they went down the shaft, the CCTV report said. Search work is ongoing.

Three rescue teams were dispatched by the provincial work safety bureau overnight on Tuesday. Power, ventilation and the hoisting system, which were damaged by the blast, have been restored.

The iron ore mine in Sishanling village, Benxi, which is under construction by Huamei Group, is attached to Beijing Jianlong Group.

The first phase of the iron mine is expected to be complete in 2019 and have an annual output of 15 million metric tons of iron ore. The final production capability of the mine will reach 30 million tons, according to an earlier report by China Mining News.

It said the mine had the largest iron ore reserves in the country, with about 2.5 billion tons.

Huang Ming, Party secretary of the Ministry of Emergency Management, and other senior officials of the ministry gave instructions to the rescuers via video.

Huang asked officials to identify causes for the accident and hold those responsible to account as soon as possible. He also ordered that safety hazards be rooted out.

The ministry has dispatched a team to guide the rescue work.

 

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