Poisonous fumes were preventing efforts to rescue 17 Chinese miners trapped underground for three days, according an official and state media.
On Thursday, a gas blast at the coal mine in the northeastern province of Liaoning killed five miners outright, injured another and trapped 17 others.
“At the scene, there is still no way for rescue,” a Liaoning provincial mine safety official, who declined to be named, told AFP.
“The carbon monoxide level is very high,” he said.
Authorities had detained the owner and three managers of the Dahuang Number Two Coal Mine where the accident occurred, Xinhua said. State media said previously that the mine was operating illegally.
China’s mines are known for being among the world’s most deadly due to lax regulation, corruption and inefficiency, and accidents are common as safety is often neglected by bosses seeking quick profits.
Just last month, 15 miners were killed and another three injured when a tramcar derailed in a coal mine in central China.
I’m very sorry for them and their families. But you have to wonder if their days weren’t numbered:
Tobacco-related deaths have nearly tripled in the past decade and big tobacco firms are undermining public efforts that could save millions, a report led by the health campaign group the World Lung Foundation (WLF) said on Wednesday.
In the report, marking the tenth anniversary of its first Tobacco Atlas, the WLF and the American Cancer Society said if current trends continue, a billion people will die from tobacco use and exposure this century – one person every six seconds.
In China, tobacco is already the number one killer – causing 1.2 million deaths a year – and that number is expected to rise to 3.5 million a year by 2030, the report said.
No offense, but isn’t 3.5 million a rounding error in the Chinese population? Don’t they have like a hundred cities of that size no one’s heard of? In any case, whether it’s due to tobacco, carbon monoxide, or just plain soot, breathable air may be China’s rarest commodity.