BEIJING – A gas explosion in a coal mine in southwestern China’s Chongqing municipality has left 33 miners trapped inside the mine, local authorities reported.
The explosion took place at 11:30 a.m. in the Jinshangou Coal Mine in Laisu in the Yongchuan district while 35 miners were working inside.
Two of the miners were rescued and search teams are trying to extract the remaining 33 miners trapped inside.
Poor safety conditions in mines in China claimed 171 lives in accidents in 45 coal mines last year, according to the country’s National Energy Administration.
Battling excess capacity in the coal and steel sectors, China has proposed to shut down over 1,000 obsolete coal mines with a total production capacity of 60 million tons.
However, most mining accidents in the country are recorded in illegal mines that lack the most basic of safety measures.