Beijing: Death toll in China`s coal mine gas burst rose to 26 today while chances of survival of the 11 more miners trapped were stated to be slim as they were buried
under 2500 tonnes of coal dust.
The toll rose death toll in mine accident in central China`s Henan Province has risen to 26 today as five more bodies were recovered, rescue headquarters said. Rescuers were battling to reach the 11 miners still trapped underground, but chances for them to survive were very slim, said Du Bo, deputy chief of the rescue headquarters.
"Based upon past experience, the remaining 11 miners could be buried in coal dust, so the survival chances are frail," Du said. More than 2,500 tonnes of coal dust smothered the pit after the gas leak, which hampered the rescue, Xinhua quoted Du as saying.
The accident happened on Saturday when 276 miners were working underground in the mine in Yuzhou City. A total of 239 workers managed to escape but 21 were found dead.
An initial investigation showed that 173,500 cubic meters of gas leaked out in the accident.
Liu Wenbin, a deputy chief engineer of the company that owns the mine, was in the pit when the accident happened. "At around 6 am, I felt there was something wrong with the airflow in the shaft, and one of the team captains told me he also felt it and had already reported the problem," said Liu.
Officials blamed the mine owners for not following proper safety procedures. Another gas blast at the same mine two years ago killed 23 people, state media said. In recent years China closed many illegal mines but Mining deaths decreased in recent years but
casualities increased in the first half of this year. At least 515 people have been killed nationwide in coal mines alone so far this year.