Coalmine blast leaves 146 dead, 5 missing
GOV.cn Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Rescuers prepare to take a rescue operation at Dongfeng Coal Mine run by the Qitaihe branch of the Longmei Mining (Group) Co., Ltd. in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province on Nov. 29, 2005. As of 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, the death toll of northeast China coal mine blast rose to 146, while the whereabouts of five miners are still unknown, rescuers said. [Xinhua Photo] 


A trapped miner of Dongfeng Coal Mine is carried out by his fellow workers in Qitaihe City of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province Nov. 28, 2005. Altogether 221 miners were working underground when a blast went off in Dongfeng Coal Mine run by the Qitaihe branch of the Longmei Mining (Group) Co., Ltd. at 9:40 p.m. Sunday at Dongfeng Coal Mine. A 269-member rescue team has been going all-out to search for the miners trapped beneath the coal mine shaft after the blast. As of 2:00 p.m. Monday, the death toll rose to 68, said sources with the National Bureau of Production Safety Supervision and Administration. Rescuers have saved 74 miners while 79 others still trapped underground. [Xinhua Photo] 


Miners of Dongfeng Coal Mine wait to rescue their trapped fellow workers in Qitaihe City of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province Nov. 28, 2005. [Xinhua Photo] 


A trapped miner is carried out by his fellow workers at Dongfeng Coal Mine in Qitaihe City of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province Nov. 28, 2005. [Xinhua Photo]


The photo taken on Nov. 28 shows the closed Dongfeng Coal Mine run by the Qitaihe branch of the Longmei Mining (Group) Co., Ltd. in Qitaihe City of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. [Xinhua Photo] 


Miners of Dongfeng Coal Mine rush to rescue the trapped fellow workers in Qitaihe City of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province Nov. 28, 2005. [Xinhua Photo]

As of 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, the death toll of the northeast China coal mine blast rose to 146.

Rescuers are still searching for the last five miners trapped beneath the coal mine shaft.

The rescuers said the death toll is composed of 144 who died underground and two female workers who were found killed in the ground generator room on Tuesday afternoon.

By press time, the 380-member rescue team is still sparing no efforts in search of the missing miners.

Altogether 221 miners were working underground when the blast went off at 9:40 p.m. Sunday at the Dongfeng Coal Mine run by the Qitaihe branch of the Longmei Mining (Group) Co., Ltd. in Heilongjiang Province.

The rescue operation was performed immediately after the accident and 72 miners were rescued.

A local hospital source said the six survivors of the blast, who were seriously injured, are in stable condition.

Shi Guicheng, deputy president of the General Hospital of the Qimei Group, told Xinhua that 47 of the rescued miners were suffering from gas poisoning.

"Many of the injured are recovering after treatment in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber," said Shi, who added some miners were also suffering from post traumatic stress.

Only one miner suffered head injuries and he was also treated for gas poisoning, said Shi.

Shi said four more medical specialists are scheduled to join the three medical experts at the hospital who are treating the injured miners.

Body identification and compensation work started on Tuesday.

A spokesman of the Longmei Mining (Group) Co., Ltd. said the relatives of every dead miner will receive 200,000 to 220,000 yuan (about 24,660 to 27,100 US dollars) in compensation.

As of 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, the relatives of more than 20 dead miners signed the compensation agreement.

Li Yizhong, head of the National Bureau of Production Safety Supervision Administration, and major senior officials of the province are organizing the rescue operation at the accident site.

Li urged the rescuers to quicken their search operation and asked the local government to carefully examine all the coal mines in the province so as to remove all the hidden dangers.

The Heilongjiang provincial government held an emergency videophone conference on Monday afternoon ordering production safety checkup in all mines.

Mines which do not meet production safety criteria will be immediately closed down.

Related stories:

Heilongjiang colliery blast traps 160 miners

 
Editor: Hanlin
Source: Xinhua