The explosion happened at around 06:00 local time during maintenance at the Caojiawa gold mine in the city of Zhaoyuan. China’s state news agency Xinhua reports that 10 miners were trapped by a fire following the explosion and that four miners managed to escape with injuries. All four were taken to a local hospital for treatment.
The incident came just a month after another fatal blast in Shandong province at the Hushan gold mine on January 10. That incident saw 22 workers trapped around 2,000 feet (600 metres) underground. After spending two weeks trapped underground, 11 of the miners were lifted to safety on January 24, however the total death toll was 10 with one miner still unaccounted for.
The two incidents prompted Shandong’s Emergency Management Bureau to announce a new campaign through which it would start a comprehensive inspection programme until the end of March. The campaign will see the bureau inspect all non-coal mines in the province in a measure to tackle safety risks.