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A fire accident at a coal mine in Panzhou, Guizhou, China, has killed 16 people, reported Reuters, citing the mine’s owner Guizhou Panjiang Refined Coal in a filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The accident occurred on 24 September 2023 at the Shanjiaoshu coal mine, reported the Associated Press (AP), citing local authorities.

As per the initial investigation, a fire at the mine’s conveyor belt trapped the 16 victims.

Shanghai-based commodities consultancy Mysteel said that the production of all coal mines in Panzhou was suspended for a day as a result of the accident, reported Reuters.

According to Mysteel, Guizhou Panjiang Refined Coal operates seven coal mines with a total production capacity of around 17.3 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). The Shanjiaoshu mine has a 3.1mtpa coal production capacity.

Following the accident, state-owned company Panjiang Coal has imposed orders to carry out safety inspections at all of its mines. It has also taken measures to ensure production safety, according to the filing.

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By GlobalData

China has witnessed a series of similar incidents at its coal mines. Last month, a coal mine explosion in Shaanxi province killed 11 people.

The incident took place while a total of 90 miners were present at the shaft, according to the provincial Department of Emergency Management. 

In February 2023, a collapse at an open-pit mine in the Inner Mongolia region killed 53 people.

Recently, Reuters reported that China’s mine safety administration was considering revisions to its mining safety law following the two coal mine accidents in 2023.

These include restrictions on smaller mines and expediting the use of automation for underground mining.