Hopes are fading in China that any more survivors from the Xingxing mine accident will now be found.
87 workers are now known to have died, and another 21 remain unaccounted for, but more than a day after the gas explosion, thick smoke continues to billow out of the mine shaft. The coalmine, one of north-east China’s biggest, was in the process of being cleared in an emergency evacuation because of a gas alert when the methane exploded at a depth of 500 metres. Although 420 miners were saved, the accident adds to the hundreds of lives already lost in Chinese coalmines this year. However casualty figures are down by over 18 percent as Beijing spends heavily to try and improve the industry’s dismal safety record.