At least forty-one miners are dead in Sichuan, in the worst mining accident in almost three years, China Daily reports:
Forty-one miners were confirmed dead and five were still trapped in the pit after the explosion, which happened at about 5 pm on Wednesday, said Huang Jinsheng, deputy chief of the Sichuan Provincial Work Safety Bureau on Friday.
“The search for the five miners is ongoing despite their slim chances of survival,” said Zhang Zhenjian, a rescuer from the Panzhihua Branch of Sichuan Coal Group.
Temperatures reached 80 to 90 C, and carbon monoxide was dense in the zone where the five miners were trapped.
AP reports that 43 miners died and that “chaotic” management and a failure to follow safety measures were to blame:
The official Xinhua News Agency said that though the Xiaojiawan coal mine in southwestern Sichuan province was licensed to operate, it had been exceeding its production capacity in violation of safety standards.
Rescuers were still searching for three miners who remained trapped underground after the explosion on Wednesday afternoon in the coal-rich city of Panzhihua, but their chances of survival were slim. State media said the three workers were believed to be located at the center of the blast.
A preliminary probe found that the accident happened because production had not been stopped despite a high density of gas and that safety monitoring equipment was inadequate, Xinhua said.
More miners had been sent to work underground than were allowed to, the report cited the head of the State Administration of Work Safety, Yang Dongliang, as saying.