A total of 24 workers were killed and 52 others injured in a coal mine blaze that broke out early this morning in Fuxin, Liaoning province.
The fire occurred at 2:35 a.m. in a coal mine owned by Hengda Coal, a subsidiary of the major producer Fuxin Coal. The rescue effort has ended and injured workers have been hospitalized, according to Xinhua. Some of the victims, who suffered burns and respiratory damage, are in critical condition and may need to be moved to larger hospitals in Shenyang, requiring a three-hour transfer.
A 1.6-magnitude quake was recorded at 1:31 a.m. in a city near the coal mine, and officials are now investigating whether its tremors triggered the blaze.
Hengda Coal, which employs over 4,600 workers, has suspended operations in all its mines for safety checks.
The Fuxin mine, built in 1978, is one of northeast China’s largest coal producers. Last year, eight workers were killed due to a gas leak in a Fuxin Coal mine.
China’s mines are considered to be some of the deadliest in the world and often suffer explosions due to gas leaks.
[Images via Xinhua]