18 miners trapped in a gold mine in Xinjiang, rescue operation underway
40 people were working in the mine, situated 100 kilometres from the border with Kazakhstan when the accident occured
As many as 18 people were trapped in an underground gold mine in China's Xinjiang region on Sunday after a cave-in was reported by local news agencies.
40 people were working in the mine, situated 100 kilometres from the border with Kazakhstan when the accident occured.
According to Xinhua news agency, the rescue operation is currently underway to retrieve the remaining stranded miners after 22 were brought to the surface safely.
This is not the first time that miners have been trapped or killed in China's mines. In July, earlier this year, 10 died while several were injured after a coal mine collapsed in northwestern China.
The coal mine belonged to the Shanxi Coking Coal Minbao group and the people present at the scene of the disaster said that the damage was caused "when a mountainside collapse occurred".
Similarly, in April, last year, 21 miners were trapped in a coal mine in Xinjiang due to an underground flood. The staff at the mine was carrying out upgrading work when the disaster struck and quickly submerged the mine.
Notably, mines in China, whether gold or coal, are considered among the world's most dangerous, with explosions and gas leaks a regular occurrence.
The safety measures are often extremely lax when operating the mines while authorities are bribed to grant the necessary permits.
Despite the regular occurrences and media coverage, the situation has not improved starkly on the ground. China is the world's largest mining industry, meaning it has to keep up with the rising demand for raw materials from across the globe.
The country accounts for 40 per cent of the coal output of the world but simultaneously registers 80 per cent of mining deaths each year.
(With inputs from agencies)
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