International Desk: At least 16 people were killed in a coal mine fire in China. Officials said that the accident happened at 8:10 a.m. Sunday local time in Shanjiaoshu in the southwestern part of the country. According to AFP news, the mine is located about 3,600 kilometers southwest of the capital Beijing. The Panzhou city government said in a notice posted on its website that the fire had been extinguished.
According to the notification, the 16 victims were completely burnt. There was no way to identify them. The fire was initially determined to have started from a conveyor belt. Meanwhile, all coal mines in Panzhou city suspended production for a day due to the incident. "It was initially determined that the fire was caused by a conveyor belt, and 16 people were trapped in the mine as a result of the fire," Panzhou city government said in a release.
The region reportedly has an annual production capacity of about 52.5 million metric tons, mostly coking coal. After the accident, the state-owned company, also known as Panjiang Coal, ordered safety inspections at all its mines and took measures to ensure safe production. . Mining safety in China has improved in recent decades. However, the name of this industry often comes up in the news of accidents.
Previously, many mining accidents were not reported in the country's state media. In February, a coal mine collapsed in the northern Inner Mongolia region, trapping dozens of people and vehicles under rubble. Authorities have not released death figures for months. It revealed that 53 people were killed in June alone.