Coal Mine Collapse in Northern Inner Mongolia: Xi Jinping Calls for Action
Chinese leader Xi Jinping has instructed authorities to make “every possible effort” to rescue the missing persons and treat the injured after a coal mine collapse in China's northern Inner Mongolia region on Wednesday. Four people have been confirmed dead and 49 are still missing.
On Wednesday evening, the rescue mission, led by Wei Zhiguo, was hindered by a “large landslide” according to him. Overnight search efforts were stopped due to the first landslide, and further hindered by another landslide that occurred later in the day.
Xinjing Coal Mining Company owns the collapsed coal mine which is situated in Alxa League town. The collapse affected a “wide area” and left a pile of debris roughly 500m (1,640ft) across and an estimated 80m high.
Inner Mongolia is one of China’s top three coal-producing regions and has been producing at a heightened rate over the past year under a government call to boost local supply and stabilize prices. Six people have been pulled alive from the dirt, and a massive rescue operation is currently underway.
However, rescue efforts were initially blocked as of early Thursday morning due to the massive landslide near the site Wednesday evening. State media reported in the afternoon that operations were “ongoing”. Mr. Xi has instructed authorities to make “every possible effort” to find survivors, and police told CCTV that an investigation was underway.
The collapse of the coal mine in Inner Mongolia serves as a reminder of the risks associated with the industry. China has been producing record amounts of coal in an effort to increase GDP and stockpile fuel reserves, and miners around the country continue to work in dangerous conditions.
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