The death toll from a mine flood in Shanxi province over the weekend has risen to 21, Xinhua confirmed this morning, four days after water from a ground-floor reservoir rushed into the Jiangjiawan mine near the city of Datong and trapped dozens of workers inside.
A total of 247 minors were underground when the tragedy occurred on Sunday evening. While 223 of them made it to the surface, 24 remained missing.
More than 600 rescue workers arrived at the scene to pump water and drill holes from the surface. Rescuers managed to bring out four of the trapped minors alive, but one died later at the hospital. They’ve also retrieved bodies of dead minors, although it’s unclear how many have been accounted for.
China’s coal mines are some of the deadliest in the world due in part to lax safety regulations.
In November, 11 people were killed when an explosion ripped through a coal mine in Guizhou, making that the second deadly mining incident within two days in China.
The mine that was flooded was owned by Datong Coal Mine Group, which has an annual capacity of 900,000 metric tons.