China’s Jiangjiawan coal mine flood kills 16 miners

21 April 2015 (Last Updated April 21st, 2015 18:30)

Sixteen workers have died from a flooding incident in Jiangjiawan coal mine near the city of Datong in northern China.

Sixteen workers have died from a flooding incident in Jiangjiawan coal mine near the city of Datong in northern China.

According to state media, five miners are still trapped underground despite the ongoing rescue operation.

Jiangjiawan coal mine is owned by Datong Coal Mine Group and has an annual production capacity of 900,000t.

A rescue spokesperson was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying that the four miners were released on 21 April and taken to a nearby hospital, where one worker later died.

"The rescue team has retrieved seven bodies and is currently pumping water and drilling holes from the surface to reach the trapped workers."

Comprising 600 workers, the rescue team has retrieved seven bodies and is currently pumping water and drilling holes from the surface to reach the trapped workers.

The news agency reported that four pumps are extracting water from the shaft and as of yesterday afternoon, about 6,100m³ of water had already been pumped out.

A total of 247 people were working in Jiangjiawan mine when water flooded the shaft on 19 April. Around 223 escaped safely, while 24 were trapped underground.

Following the incident, Datong Coal Mine Group suspended production at its small mines for safety checks.

Investigations are currently underway to determine the cause of the flood.