Xi Jinping Urges Authorities to Make “Every Possible Effort” After Deadly China Coal Mine Collapse

At least four people have been confirmed dead and 49 are missing after a coal mine in China's northern Inner Mongolia region collapsed on Wednesday.[0] Chinese leader Xi Jinping has instructed authorities to make “every possible effort” to find survivors of the disaster.

Wei Zhiguo, the leader of the rescue mission, said the operation had been interrupted by a “large landslide” on Wednesday evening and another later that day.[1] This caused search efforts to be halted overnight, and according to state broadcaster CCTV, an investigation is underway and the relevant persons have been “controlled”.[1]

The mine collapse affected a “wide area” and left a pile of debris roughly 500m (1,640ft) across and an estimated 80m high.[1] It was captured on CCTV footage, showing the landslide overwhelming the worksite within seconds, with few seen to emerge from the dust cloud.[1] Six individuals have been rescued from the rubble, and a large-scale rescue mission is in progress to save any other potential survivors.

The mine is owned by Xinjing Coal Mining Company and is located in the town of Alxa League.[2] Inner Mongolia is one of China’s top three coal-producing regions, along with Shanxi and Shaanxi.[2] Last year, China produced a record 4.5bn tonnes of coal, a 9% increase on 2021.[3]

Xi Jinping has urged authorities to make “every possible effort” to rescue the missing persons and treat the injured.[4] Rescue operations have been ongoing, though hampered by the two landslides, and the search for survivors continues.

0. “China Coal Mine Collapse Death Toll Rises to 4 With 49 People Still Missing” Bloomberg, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-02-23/death-toll-rises-after-coal-mine-collapses-in-northern-china

1. “Dozens feared dead after open pit mine collapses on workers” Boing Boing, 23 Feb. 2023, https://boingboing.net/2023/02/23/dozens-feared-dead-after-open-pit-mine-collapses-on-workers.html

2. “Two killed, more than 50 trapped in China coal mine collapse” The Jerusalem Post, 22 Feb. 2023, https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/article-732399

3. “At least six killed in open-pit coalmine collapse in north China” The Guardian, 24 Feb. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/feb/23/miners-killed-in-open-pit-coalmine-collapse-in-north-china

4. “Death toll rises in China mine collapse as rescue efforts continue” CNN, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/22/china/china-coal-mine-collapse-intl/index.html

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