Dongfang coal mine missing workers presumed dead

12 November 2014 (Last Updated November 12th, 2014 18:30)

China has declared the deaths of 21 miners who had been trapped inside the collapsed Dongfang mine in Huainan City.

China has declared the deaths of 21 miners who had been trapped inside the collapsed Dongfang mine in Huainan City.

Confirmation has come two and half months after the accident ocurred in the eastern part of the country, when the search for the missing workers was concluded. The Dongfang mine incident death toll has risen to 27, reports Chinese news agency Xinhua.

"Experts warned that continuing the search risked causing further explosions, so the missing persons have been assumed dead."  

A gas explosion on 19 August had trapped 39 workers in the underground shafts of the coal mine. Following the accident, a local news agency reported that 12 people managed to escape but six were declared dead.

Families of the missing miners have each received CNY910,000 ($14,841) in compensation.

The search for the mining workers was affected by the collapsed mine shafts and gas pockets, officials from the government stated.

Experts warned that continuing the search risked causing further explosions, so the missing persons have been assumed dead due to the underground conditions.

Though officially licensed, the 90,000t-a-year coal mine had been operating illegally at the time of explosion, as the Huainan municipal Government had issued production suspension orders as a flood precaution.