21 miners die as coal mine roof collapses in China
Twenty-one coal miners have been killed after the roof of a coal mine collapsed in northern China.
A total of 87 workers were underground in the Shaanxi province mine at the time of the accident on Saturday afternoon, the official news agency Xinhua reported.
Sixty-six of those have been safely evacuated, the city government said.
The cause of the accident at the site, run by Baiji Mining, is under investigation.
Deadly mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record despite efforts to improve coal production conditions and crack down on illegal mines.
In December last year, seven miners were killed and three others injured in an accident at a coal mine in China’s southwest.
In October, 21 miners died in eastern Shandong province after pressure inside a mine caused rocks to fracture and break, blocking the tunnel and trapping workers. Only one miner was rescued alive.
According to China’s National Coal Mine Safety Administration, the country saw 375 coal mining related deaths in 2017, down 28.7% year-on-year.
But despite improvements “the situation of coal mine safety production is still grim”, the bureau said in a statement following a coal mine safety conference last January.