All 33 miners who were trapped in a coal mine following an explosion in Chongqing, China have been confirmed dead. Chinese work safety officials have promised to “strictly punish” those responsible for safety lapses.
The dozens of coal miners who were trapped underground in a gas explosion earlier this week have all been found dead, reported Chinese state media on Wednesday.
The bodies of the last 15 missing miners were retrieved from the privately-owned Jinshangou mine near the southwestern city of Chongqing, the official Xinhua news agency said – bringing the death toll up to 33. Only two workers managed to escape Monday’s blast. Over 200 rescuers worked around the clock but were unable to find any survivors.
China’s State Administration of Work Safety launched an investigation into the blast, “adding that those responsible must be strictly punished.” Local officials also ordered smaller mines around Chongqing to temporarily shut down, according to information from Xinhua.
Although the cause of the explosion is still unknown, Xinhua reported that initial investigations showed that the coal mine was poorly ventilated, had malfunctioning equipment and exceeded its mining boundaries.
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