At least 21 miners were killed in a firedamp explosion in a coal mine in Yunnan province in southwestern China, while 22 workers were still trapped.
“The air is rare in the mine and the trapped miners have very little chance to survive”, according to the headquarters of the emergency.
Each victim’s families will receive 660,000 yuan for the death of their loved one and 17 of them have already received 10,000 yuan for the funeral.
The accident occurred Thursday morning in a coal mine Shizhong District, part of the municipality of Qujing.
Six rescue teams take turns in search of trapped miners, while 240 tons of dust and a 250 meter long tunnel were cleared.
China’s mining industry is particularly costly in human lives. Last year, 2,433 miners died in China, according to official statistics, more than six per day. But these figures, already high, are probably largely underestimated, according to NGOs.
With the arrival of winter, Chinese mines operating at full capacity.
Coal is mainly used for producing electricity to meet the rising demand. In the past eight years an average of one coal plant per week has been built in China.