President Xi urges all-out rescue efforts after coal mine collapse

A total of 53 people are still trapped in the mine, according to local authorities.


Rescue work is underway after the collapse of a coal mine in Alshaa League, Inner Mongolia autonomous region on Wednesday. [Photo/Xinhua]

February 23, 2023

BEIJING – President Xi Jinping ordered on Wednesday all-out efforts to search and rescue people following the collapse of a coal mine in Alshaa League, Inner Mongolia autonomous region. He also urged strengthening monitoring of the situation to guard against secondary disasters.

Xi, who is general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark in an instruction issued shortly after the mine collapsed around 1 pm on Wednesday.

A total of 53 people are still trapped in the mine, and 334 rescuers, 129 rescue vehicles and nine work safety experts have arrived at the scene, according to local authorities.

Two people are confirmed dead, and by press time, six injured people had been rescued from the mine.

Xi urged the use of every possible means to search for and rescue the missing and treat the injured. Support measures should also be undertaken, including comforting family members. The rescue work must be conducted in a science-based way, he added.

The president stressed that swift action needs to be taken to investigate and identify the cause of the collapse and find out who should be held accountable, adding that a lesson must be learned from the accident and management loopholes removed.

Xi urged local authorities and related departments to stay alert and rule out hidden security risks of all kinds.

Preventive measures must be strengthened and implemented to better balance development and security, secure the safety of people’s lives and property and maintain overall social stability, he added.

Premier Li Keqiang also issued an instruction and urged efforts to rescue the trapped people at all costs, guarantee the safety of rescue work and appropriately deal with the aftermath of the accident.

Li stressed the importance of releasing information to the public in a timely and accurate manner, saying that authorities must step up efforts to address major hidden dangers and prevent serious accidents from happening.

Rescue authorities have sent task forces to the site to help with the rescue efforts.

The Ministry of Emergency Management said that it has dispatched four rescue teams of 109 well-equipped workers to the site.

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