As the world was celebrating the rescue of the 33 miners trapped underground in Chile for two months, the nightmare was just beginning for a group of coal miners in China. And the media barely noticed. But that’s not the worst of it.
Early Saturday morning, an explosion caused 2500 cubic feet of toxic gas to rush through a network of tunnels at a coal mine in China. A little over 200 miners got out. 37 got trapped. And of those 37, only 7 remain. And authorities don’t think they’re gonna make it.
Rescuers are battling flammable poison gases to try to save seven Chinese miners trapped underground after an explosion that killed 30 of their co-workers.
The men have been trapped for three days, and authorities fear they could be suffocated by the gases before help can reach them. Thirty miners were confirmed dead today, Bloomberg News reported.
Rescuers may be able to reach the trapped Chinese miners by Wednesday, the Financial Times quoted China National Radio as reporting. But experts fear that may be too late.
Two years ago, another gas leak at the same Chinese mine in Yuzhou City killed 23 people. And 48 miners were killed in the same province in June after a blast at a mine in a nearby city — the country’s deadliest mine accident so far this year.
And if you’re wondering why you never heard about any of these mining accidents, it’s because, according to the New York Times, it happens so much in China that the news doesn’t report it.
Mining accidents are so common in China that they rarely make newspaper front pages. Last year, more than 2,600 people were killed in mining accidents in China. By comparison, there were only 34 mining deaths in the United States, according to the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The Chinese government has repeatedly vowed to improve the safety of mining conditions, and nearly every year safety regulators announce the closing of thousands of illegal mines, which tend to be the most dangerous.
But the mine involved in Saturday’s blast is owned by the Pingyu Coal and Electric Company, a joint venture that is at least partly state-owned.
SMH. We hope they get to have their happy ending to.