Elevator crashes at mine in eastern China, killing 13March 17th, 2012 - 2:14 am ICT by BNO News
LUCHENG TOWNSHIP, China (BNO NEWS) — Thirteen mine workers were killed on early Thursday morning when an elevator fell out of control and slammed into the bottom of an iron ore mine in eastern China, government officials said on Friday.
The accident happened at around 1 a.m. local time at the Shimen Iron Ore Mine in Lucheng township, which is located in Cangshan county in Shandong province. It happened when a steel rope which was carrying the elevator broke, causing it to plummet to the bottom of the pit.
A spokesperson for the State Administration of Work Safety said thirteen bodies had been recovered, and there were no survivors. It was not immediately known what caused the accident to happen at the mine, which is privately-run and is owned by the Jinan Iron and Steel Group.
Safety conditions at mines in China have significantly improved in recent years but they remain among the world’s most dangerous with 1,083 fatalities in the first seven months of 2011 alone. There were 2,433 fatalities in 2010 and 2,631 in 2009.
China in recent years shut down scores of small mines to improve safety and efficiency in the mining industry. The country has also ordered all mines to build emergency shelter systems by June 2013 which are to be equipped with machines to produce oxygen and air conditioning, protective walls and airtight doors to protect workers against toxic gases and other hazardous factors.
The first manned test of such a permanent underground chamber was carried out in August 2011 when around 100 people - including managers, engineers, miners, medical staff, and the chamber’s developers - took part in a 48-hour test at a mine owned by the China National Coal Group in the city of Shuozhou in northern China’s Shanxi Province.
One of the worst mining accidents in China in recent years happened in November 2009 when 104 workers were killed after several explosions at a coal mine in Heilongjiang province.
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Tags: bno, china government, coal mine, eastern china, emergency shelter, group safety, iron ore, manned test, national coal, northern china, protective walls, safety conditions, shandong province, shanxi province, state administration, steel group, steel rope, toxic gases, underground chamber, work safety