Wednesday 3 April 2013

Second explosion at Jilin mine kills at least seven more workers.

A second explosion at the Babao Coal Mine in Baishan, Jilin Province, has killed a further seven mineworkers. The mine was closed on Friday 29 March 2013, after a gas explosion which led to 29 fatalities, but on the morning of Monday 1 April a manager at the mine responded to a report of smoke issuing from the pit by sending a team of 21 workers to extinguish the blaze. This team was reportedly on a platform 300-400 m beneath the surface when a second gas explosion occured. The bodies of seven miners have been recovered, and four have been rescued with minor injuries; the reamining ten are still missing.

Relatives of trapped workers at the Babao Mine waiting for news. Zhang Yao/China News Service.

The mine is operated by the state owned Tonghua Mining Group, which is generally considered to have a good safety record, compared to other companies in the country. The mine had been ordered to close pending an investigation by authorities, and permission for the mineworkers to re-enter the pit had not been granted. Police have now reportedly detained a number of senior managers at the mine, who can be held criminally responsible under Chinese law. 

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