Rescuers conduct rescue works at the site of a collapsed coal mine in Alxa Left Banner of Alxa League, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, 23 February 2023. EFE-EPA/XINHUA / Peng Yuan CHINA OUT / MANDATORY CREDIT EDITORIAL USE ONLY

China mine collapse death toll climbs to 6

Beijing, Feb 24 (EFE).- The number of deaths due to a collapse of a mine in northern China’s Inner Mongolia region climbed to six as rescue efforts to locate the 47 missing continued, state media reported Friday.

Another six people with injuries were rescued from the rubble and are already in a hospital in the area in stable condition, official news agency Xinhua reported.

Search and rescue tasks continued on Friday after being halted the previous day due to a new landslide in the area.

Rescuers conduct rescue works at the site of a collapsed coal mine in Alxa Left Banner of Alxa League, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, 23 February 2023. EFE-EPA/XINHUA / Peng Yuan CHINA OUT / MANDATORY CREDIT EDITORIAL USE ONLY

The incident occurred after the collapse of a 400-meter long section of an open-pit mine in the province’s Alxa Left Banner area at around 1 pm on Wednesday.

The authorities have launched an investigation to determine the causes of the incident and those involved have been placed under police custody, Xinhua said.

The regional authorities have also launched a campaign to overhaul workplace safety.

President Xi Jinping called for no effort to be spared to help the injured and locate the missing and also ordered an investigation into the causes of the accident.

According to local media reports, the coal mine had been sanctioned for accessing a water intake without the required permits and not placing warning signs in the area.

China’s mines, especially those mining coal – the country’s main energy source – are among the world’s most dangerous and see high accident rates, although fatalities have fallen significantly in recent years.

In March last year, 14 miners who were trapped for more than a week after an accident at a coal mine in southern China were found dead by rescue teams. EFE

lcl/pd