Rescue workers are working to reach 18 people who are trapped underground following a collapse of a gold mine in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region, state media reported.
A total of 40 people were working at the mine in Yining District, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the border with Kazakhstan when the mine collapsed on Saturday afternoon.
Twenty-two miners were brought to the surface, but 18 are still trapped.
“A rescue operation is underway to bring back the remaining miners,” Xinhua news agency said late on Saturday.
Mining safety has improved in China in recent decades, but in an industry where safety instructions are often lax, accidents are still common, particularly at the most rudimentary sites.
In September last year, 19 miners stranded underground following the collapse of a coal mine in northwestern Qinghai province were found dead after a lengthy search.
In December 2021, 20 miners were rescued from a flooded coal mine in northern Shanxi province, and two more died.
China is the world’s largest producer of gold. Last year, the country mined 370 tons of gold and has held its top position for more than 10 years.