Ten killed after mountain collapse at China mining site

BEIJING: Ten people were killed and seven injured  after the collapse of a section of a mountain at a coal mine in China, state television channel CCTV reported.

The accident took place around 11:15 am local time (0315 GMT) in the northwestern province of Gansu, said CCTV, adding that rescue operations are now over.

Personnel were moving around the mining site in Baiyin city “when a mountainside collapse occurred” which “buried these employees as well as vehicles,” said CCTV. A total of 17 people were trapped.

According to the final report Saturday evening after the discovery of the last body, “10 people died and seven were slightly injured”, it said, quoting local authorities.

“An investigation is underway to determine the causes of the accident,” CCTV said.

While little information was provided about the mining site Baiyin city — which boasts terrain that is part mountain and part desert — was originally established as a national copper mining base in the 1950s.

Mining accidents occur frequently in China, where the industry has a bad safety record and regulations are often poorly enforced.

Safety has improved in recent decades, however, as has the media coverage of major incidents, many of which were once overlooked.

But the sector remains dangerous and safety instructions are often lax, especially on the most rudimentary sites.

Authorities in response have vowed to crack down on illegal digging operations which had spiked in the wake of price surges for the fossil fuel.