Yuanyang colliery outburst

The Yuanyang colliery outburst occurred at the privately run Yuanyang colliery in Puding County, Anshun, Guizhou, People's Republic of China, at 9:40 p.m. on 13 May 2010. At least 21 people were killed and at least five were wounded.[1][2]

Thirty-one miners were inside the shaft at the time of the outburst,[1][3] and ten of them walked out alive.[1][4] Rescuers searched in vain for others.[5] There were genuine fears that an unknown quantity of unregistered miners may have been underground at the time.[6][7] Half of the fleeing ten were still hospitalised and receiving treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning the following day.[1] 24 miners were initially reported as being trapped, with seven escaping the mine.[5]

An early investigation revealed explosives were responsible for the burst.[1] The explosives were used for illegal mining which had been underway in the colliery.[1] According to deputy director of the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety Wang Shuhe, "local authorities did not fully perform their duties, and occasionally even abetted or sheltered illegal activities".[1] He visited the scene as part of the investigation.[1] Work at all of Puding's collieries was suspended.[1] Guizhou surveyed its coal mines for safety reasons on 15 May 2010.[1] Guizhou's vice-governor Sun Guoqiang said authorities should have checked the mine and asked officials after the burst: "Did anyone of you visit the mine after approving the shaft maintenance project"?[1]

The incident had severe consequences for county-level and township officials: five were suspended or fired altogether when the full extent of what had occurred was realised. Vice head of Puding, Wu Guohong: county director of work safety supervision administration, Xu Dongfeng: county director of coal mining administration, Hu Yingze, were among these.[1] The mine's owner, Li Renjie, vanished without a trace as authorities attempted to find him.[1]

See also

  • Coal power in China


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