BEIJING – Chinese authorities raised on Sunday to 13 the number of deaths as a result of a coal mine accident in the province of Shandong, while eight people are still missing, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Rescue teams continue to search for the miners who were trapped in a tunnel after the accident last Saturday, since which only one person has been rescued alive from the rubble.
The cause of the accident was being investigated; however, rock fracture incidents such as this are usually triggered by explosions carried out inside the mines.
In China, mines, especially coal mines – the country’s main source of energy – are among the most dangerous in the world with a high rate of accidents, although in recent years fatalities have fallen significantly.
In 2017, there were 219 accidents in Chinese coal mines with 375 deaths, a drop of 28.7 percent from 2016 and 20 times lower than the figure recorded during the early 2000s, when up to 7,000 people died in mine accidents each year.