At least six workers were killed as 47 remain missing following a massive landslide in a Chinese open-pit coal mine Wednesday, officials say.
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV noted the massive scale of the approximately 260-foot high and 1,600-foot wide debris field, according to Reuters. Six workers were pulled out alive as of Thursday evening, the outlet reported, citing state media.
The mine, located in the Inner Mongolia province and operated by the Xinjing Coal Mining Co., remains at risk of suffering further collapses, Reuters reported. A second landslide later forced a temporary suspension of rescue efforts.
Search and rescue efforts at a coal mine in China’s Inner Mongolia region have been put on hold after a massive landslide, state media says, following a collapse that killed at least two people and trapped dozenshttps://t.co/sdEZQdEPg5 pic.twitter.com/6OUw1lcIzd
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) February 23, 2023
“The rescue work is being carried out in an orderly and tense manner,” rescue operation leader Wei Zhiguo told CCTV, according to the BBC. Certain individuals have been “controlled” as an investigation remains underway, police reportedly told CCTV.
The landslide spurred mandatory inspections at all open-pit mines across Inner Mongolia, Reuters reported. The Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces also ordered safety inspections over their respective mines. (RELATED: Massive Fire Engulfs 42 Floor Skyscraper In China)
Mines in the Inner Mongolia province remain among the top coal producers in China, the BBC reported. Mines across China have pushed in 2023 for an increase in production to strengthen mineral supplies while lowering prices.