Beijing, Mar 6: Fourteen people trapped in a coal mine that collapsed in southwest China’s Guizhou province last month have died, local officials said on Sunday.

The workers were trapped after the roof of a shaft at Sanhe Shunxun coal mine in Zhenfeng County, Bouyei-Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Qianxinan, collapsed on February 25.

Rescue work finished on Sunday noon as the bodies of the trapped workers were retrieved.

Further investigation into the cause of the accident is underway, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Mining accidents are common in China. However, the number of deaths has reduced in recent years. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal.

China’s mining industry has long been among the world’s deadliest with frequent mine accidents. The safety crackdown was ordered in 2020 after two accidents in mountainous southwestern Chongqing killed 39 miners.

Despite the crackdown, 10 workers were killed at a gold mine in the northern province of Shandong in January last year after a cave-in caused by the improper storage and use of explosives.

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