In this photo released by the China News Agency, rescue workers work at the site of a collapsed surface coal mine in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on February 24, 2023.
Beijing – A mining accident in the Chinese autonomous region of Inner Mongolia has already claimed six lives, and 47 people are missing. After a short interruption in the search, the rescuers started working again, according to the Chinese state television CCTV, they managed to free six people alive from under the rubble by Thursday afternoon, writes the Reuters agency.
On Wednesday, soil and stones fell on an open-pit coal mine in an area about half a kilometer wide and up to 80 meters high. Hundreds of rescuers are working on the scene. Their work was temporarily interrupted by a second landslide on Thursday. The cause of the accident is still unknown.
Coal is an important source of energy for China, and Inner Mongolia is the province with the second largest coal production. However, according to The Guardian newspaper, the local mines are among the most dangerous in the world.
Inner Mongolia Xinjing Coal Industry, which operates the coal mine, received several fines last year for violating safety regulations. Among them were the lack of security of access roads or the dangerous storage of volatile substances.
According to critics, mining in Inner Mongolia has devastated the original landscape in many places, which consists of mountains, grassy steppes and deserts.