Guangxi Beihai: Plaster Mine Collapses, 29 Miners Trapped

By Liang Siqi and Ma Shun, China Labor Watch, 18 May 2001

(Guangxi Beihai City Hepu County) At Hengda Plaster Mine, an underground collapse occurred around 4 AM this morning. Twenty-nine miners are trapped in the well.

At the time of the report, the rescue team, consisting of specialists from the Qinzhou Mining Administration Bureau and the Armed Police, is carrying out an intense rescue effort. But because of the complexity of the well, 29 miners have not been rescued so far.

The reporters learned at the scene that seven miners escaped from the well when the danger occurred. According to a miner named Qin Zhizhong, the miners are trapped 200 meters underground, and they are about 1,000 meters away from the exit of the tunnel.

At 8 AM, the local party and civil leaders arrived at the rescue scene to take command. After receiving the report, the State Production Safety Commission and the Guangxi Autonomous Region leaders instructed that no effort shall be spared in rescuing the trapped personnel, and an investigation team shall be formed immediately to find out the cause of the collapse and locate the responsible parties.

The technicians of the mine claim that since the place where the miners are trapped has a large amount of space, the miners should persevere for two days, barring unforeseen accidents. After the collapse, they have tried to contact with the outside world by firing explosives.