April 19, 2021 | Susan Napier-Sewell

21 Miners Trapped in Flooded Coal Mine

21 chinese miners trapped in mine

Rescue teams have been trying to pump water out of the flooded mine shaft. Image by Yahoo News

21 miners remain trapped underground in a Chinese mine, with rescue efforts complicated by flooding.

Xinhua News reports that eight miners have been rescued and 21 miners remain trapped in a flooded coal mine in Xinjiang, China.

BBC reports, “It is not clear what triggered the flooding at the Fengyuan mine, but it reportedly occurred during upgrading works on Saturday. Rescuers have been trying to pump water out of the flooded shaft while simultaneously pumping air into the mine, according to CCTV. Further pipes are being laid but the operation is expected to be challenging.”

BBC further states, “Twenty-five ambulances and dozens of medical professionals were at the scene. The eight miners who were rescued earlier are reported to be in good health.

“Mining accidents are not uncommon in China, where the industry safety regulations can be poorly enforced. In December last year, 23 miners died after a carbon monoxide leak at a coal mine. In January, 10 miners were killed in a blast at a gold mine in Shandong province. Eleven survivors of the explosion remained trapped underground for two weeks, and for much of that time they had no food and sustained themselves only on water.”

Reuters image.

The accident occurred at 6:10 p.m. local time on Saturday, April 10, 2021, when 29 miners were upgrading the coal mine in Hutubi County in the Hui Autonomous Prefecture of Changji.

Rescue teams have located all the trapped miners, state broadcaster CCTV said, “Twelve were on one platform, eight on a second platform, and the last worker in an escape route. The flooding is reported to have hampered rescue efforts by cutting power underground and disrupting communication lines.”

Statement about the 21 miners trapped underground

Bao Yongsheng, deputy head of Changji and Ma Xin, director of Changji’s emergency management bureau said: ”The workers are trapped approximately 1,200 meters underground; the underground environment is very complex; and drainage is the foremost concern at present. Three sets of drainage equipment are pumping out water at speeds of 450 cubic meters per hour. A fourth set is currently being installed and is expected to double efficiency once in operation.”

By midday Sunday, state media reported that more than 1,400 people were involved in the rescue operation of the 21 miners trapped underground. Twenty-five ambulances and dozens of medical professionals were on the scene.

Other than BBC statements, this article is sourced from AMSJ (Australasian Mine Safety Journal).

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Accidents, Human Performance
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