At least 12 workers were killed and as many injured following an explosion in a railway tunnel in China’s Guizhou Province, as rescuers spent 14 hours searching the rubble for survivors. The blast occurred after gas filled the Qishanyan tunnel under construction through a coal seam in Dafang County, leaving 12 injured and 12 trapped. More than 2,000 rescuers and medical workers braved high carbon monoxide density and dust to search for the trapped workers.
The rescue work ended at 4:45 AM today. The 12 injured are in the hospital for treatment. None of them has critical injuries, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The cause of the accident is under investigation, the report said, adding that the tunnel was designed to pass through a coal seam.
Industrial accidents are common in China, where safety regulations are often poorly enforced. In 2015, the country recorded 66,000 workplace deaths, according to the most recent government statistics.