China mine collapse: Xi orders search and rescue operation

Three people were pulled out of mine but two did not survive

A miner is rescued from a flooded coal mine in northern China's Shanxi province in 2021. AFP
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Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday ordered a search and rescue mission for 50 people missing after a coal mine collapsed in northern China, killing at least two, state media reported.

A preliminary investigation showed that more than 50 people were probably trapped in the mine after the accident on Wednesday afternoon in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the emergency management authority told Xinhua news agency.

Three people were pulled out of the collapsed mine, but two showed no sign of life, the agency reported.

CGTN reported that at least two people are dead, six injured and 53 remain missing after the mine collapse.

Rescuers were at the scene soon after the accident.

Mine safety in China has improved in recent decades, as has media coverage of major incidents, many of which were once overlooked.

But accidents still occur frequently in an industry where safety protocols are often lax, especially at the most rudimentary sites.

At least 40 people were working underground when a gold mine in north-western Xinjiang region collapsed in December.

In 2021, 20 miners were rescued from a flooded coal mine in northern Shanxi province, while two others died.

Updated: February 22, 2023, 1:08 PM