Sixteen workers have died in China’s far western region of Xinjiang, where an underground coal mine collapsed on Friday night. Six workers escaped the accident, but a further eleven have been injured.
The name of the coal mine has not been identified and the cause of the accident is still being investigated.
This is the second catastrophe for Chinese coal miners this year, following the death of twenty two workers in June in southwestern China.
Nevertheless, the incident has raised concerns about the lax safety measures in the country, which produces the largest amount of coal on a global scale. Weak legislation and poor enforcement of local safety standards in China have made its mines among the deadliest in the world.
In response to this, China is aiming to improve work safety by shutting down over 2 000 outdated small-scale coal mining operations in the country by 2015.