One miner has been killed and at least 19 are trapped in a flooded coal mine in Gangca County in China’s Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.

Efforts are underway by a team of 200 police officers, emergency workers and experts to rescue the trapped miners.

At the time of the accident on 14 August at 12pm, a total of 21 people were working at the mine, which is located in the north-western Qinghai province.

Although two workers were lifted from the mine that was flooded by mud, one of them died, reported state media Xinhua News Agency.

Following the accident, provincial level-II emergency response has been activated by the Qinghai provincial government, which also allocated more than 30,000 pieces of emergency relief materials to the site.

Haibei prefecture deputy head Yin Maowen said at a press conference: “By 9pm on Saturday, over 200 rescuers from professional rescue teams and departments of fire, public security, health and emergency management had been dispatched to carry out rescue operations.”

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China’s Emergency Management Minister Huang Ming said that a probe into the mine accident has been ordered.

The ministry has urged local authorities across the country to increase safety supervision to prevent accidents.

The province had issued an order on 2 August to stop operations at the mine and address safety hazard issues.

According to data, this mine has an annual production capacity of 900,000t and was commissioned in September 2009.

China has been witnessing regular accidents at coal mines despite repeated crackdowns over safety issues.

In April 2021, a flood at a coal mine in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region had trapped 21 miners.