President Xi Jinping has issued instructions following the collapse of a coal mine in Alshaa League, Inner Mongolia autonomous region. He has urged authorities to prioritize search and rescue efforts for the missing and treatment of the injured, as well as ensure the safety of people’s lives and property while maintaining overall social stability.
Local authorities reported on Wednesday that a vast portion of an outdoor opencast mine in Alshaa Left Banner had collapsed, burying workers and vehicles. Two workers died, and around 50 people are missing. According to the emergency management authority in the league, a preliminary investigation has shown that more than 50 people are trapped under the mine.
In response, the Inner Mongolian branch of the National Mine Safety Administration has initiated a first-level accident rescue initiative. Eight rescue teams have been deployed, comprising 334 people, 129 vehicles for rescue, and nine safety production experts. According to the publicity bureau of Alshaa League, eight trapped individuals have been saved, two of whom were found to have no vital signs, while the remaining six were taken to the hospital for treatment.
The incident highlights the dangers of mining, which remains a critical industry in China. While the country has made significant strides in improving mine safety, accidents still occur. In 2020, the number of coal mine accidents decreased to 50, a 31.8% decrease from the previous year. However, experts have noted that the drop may be due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mining industry rather than improvements in safety measures.
President Xi’s response underscores the importance of prioritizing the safety of Chinese workers and people, especially in high-risk industries like mining. The authorities must continue to take steps to improve safety measures and prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.