Coal mine death toll expected to reach 151
By Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-30 05:58
QITAIHE, Heilongjiang Province: The final death toll in Sunday's coal mine
explosion in this Northeast China city is likely to reach 151 as lax management
By press time, the rescue headquarters of the Dongfeng Coal Mine announced
that 146 bodies had been found underground and three miners were still missing.
Two women workers working in an above-ground generator room were also killed in
A rescuer carries a
miner trapped in a coal mine blast in Qitaihe, in northeast China's
Heilongjiang province, November 28, 2005.
"It is very unlikely that the three missing are still alive as we have
checked almost every corner underground," said Song Kaicheng, a chief engineer
with Heilongjiang Longmei Mining (Group) Co Ltd, which owns the mine.
A preliminary investigation found that the accident was caused by lax
management policies regarding coal dust, which is more prone to ignite at a
Yesterday morning, Jia Jiguo, head of Longmei Mining, admitted that before
the blast "there were signs showing high dust density." Experts said the best
course of action then would have been to stop production. But production in the
mine continued even after a meeting on November 22 to deal with the situation.
In addition, the number of miners working underground when the blast occurred
was still confusing.