A late Friday (20th November) fire at a coal mine in Heilongjiang province China killed 21 people, state media reported. The Xinghua mine, where the accident occurred, is located close to the border with Russia.
Thirty-eight miners were working a shaft when a conveyor belt caught fire about 11pm Friday at a state-owned colliery in the city of Jixi, sixteen people were pulled to safety, and one miner was still missing. Rescue workers have recovered the bodies of the 21 victims and were searching for the missing person.
China, which is considered as the world’s largest producer of coal, is struggling to enhance the enforcement of safety regulations in the country’s mining sector. Last year, accidents in coal mines reportedly killed 931 people across the East Asian state.
The fire originated at a long conveyor belt used to carry materials which was set at a steep angle
Image used for illustration purposes only.
Image credit: Herry Lawford