Beijing, Feb 23 (EFE).- A landslide has halted efforts to rescue 53 people trapped in a mine that collapsed in China’s Inner Mongolia region, state media reported Thursday.
The massive landslide occurred at around 6 pm at the rescue site, where more than 900 people were working to locate those missing, official Xinhua news agency reported.
President Xi Jinping called for no effort to be spared to help the injured and locate the missing, state-run Global Times reported.
He also ordered an investigation into the causes of the accident.
A mine worker told local media that most of the trapped people are excavator and dump truck drivers, and that drones are being used to estimate the exact size of the collapsed area.
The incident occurred after the collapse of a 400-meter long section of an open-pit mine in the Alxa region at around 1 pm on Wednesday. Two people have died while six are injured and 53 missing.
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