More than 50 people trapped in China mine collapse: state media

BEIJING (AFP): At least 57 people are missing after a coal mine collapsed in northern China’s Inner Mongolia region on Wednesday, state media reported.

The incident occurred in Alxa League in the western part of the region, the state-run outlet CGTN said on Twitter.

State news agency Xinhua said three people had been lifted out of the mine, two of whom showed “no vital signs.”

Rescue personnel have been dispatched to the scene, according to Xinhua.

State broadcaster CCTV reported that a collapse had occurred over a “wide area” of a shaft operated by the Xinjing Coal Mining Company.

“A number of working staff and vehicles have been buried,” CCTV reported.

Mine safety in China has improved in recent decades, as has media coverage of major incidents, many of which were once overlooked.

But accidents still occur frequently in an industry where safety protocols are often lax, especially at the most rudimentary sites.

Some 40 people were working underground when a gold mine in the northwestern Xinjiang region collapsed in December.

In 2021, 20 miners were rescued from a flooded coal mine in northern Shanxi province while two others died.