Less than a week after the dramatic rescue of 33 trapped Chilean miners, China is in midst of a tragic mining disaster.
Bloomberg, citing the Xinhua News agency, reports that rescue crews have recovered the bodies of 32 workers from a coal mine in the city of Yuzhou, where a gas explosion on Saturday buried miners in tons of dust. Hopes are fading that the other five miners still trapped will be rescued alive.
In all, 276 miners were underground when the blast erupted, but 239 managed to escape immediately, Chinese authorities said.
China’s mine safety record is the world’s worst, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Last year, about 2,631 people were reported killed in mining accidents in China, compared to 34 miners in the U.S. Still, that’s a huge improvement from China’s mining toll five years ago, when nearly 6,000 men died in mining accidents, the Monitor reports.
This is the second tragedy to hit the Yuzhou mine, located in central China’s Henan province, in recent years. A gas blast at the same mine, which is operated by Pingyu Coal & Electric Co., killed 23 people two years ago, according to Chinese state media.