21 November 2009

A mine explosion in Heilongjiang, China kills 108.

2009 Heilongjiang mine explosion
China Heilongjiang.svg
Heilongjiang province
DateNovember 21, 2009 (2009-11-21)
Time02:30 CST
LocationHegang, Heilongjiang, China
108 dead and 29 injured

The 2009 Heilongjiang mine explosion (Chinese: 鹤岗新兴煤矿爆炸事故; pinyin: Hègǎng Xīnxīng méikuàng bàozhà shìgù) was a mining accident that occurred on November 21 2009, near Hegang in the Heilongjiang province, northeastern China, which killed over 108 people.[1] A further of 29 people were hospitalised.[2][3] The explosion occurred in the Xinxing coal mine shortly before dawn, at 02:30 CST, when 528 people were believed to be in the pit. Of these, 420 are believed to have been rescued.

Location and explosion

The mine, located close to the China–Russia border, is owned by the state-run[4] Heilongjiang Longmay Mining Holding Group Co., Ltd., which has been open since 1917,[4] and produces 12 million tons of coal per year,[5] making it one of the largest and oldest coal mines in the country.[6] The explosion itself, a preliminary investigation concluded, was caused by trapped, pressurised gases underground,[7][8][9] caused by poor ventilation in the mine shaft.[10] The blast was powerful enough that it was felt six miles away. Many nearby buildings were damaged, including one next to the mine whose roof was blown off.[11] The director of Hegang General hospital, where the injured were being treated, told the Xinhua News Agency that "most of the injured are suffering from compound injuries, such as respiratory injuries, broken bones and gas poisoning".[6][9]


A Chinese official said rescue efforts were being impeded by gas and debris from collapsed tunnels.[5] The death toll makes it the worst accident of its type within the past two years.[7] While hope for those trapped was fading, a Chinese official stated that the effort was still a rescue operation.[12] San Jingguang, a mining company spokesman stated that "if we haven't found them, to us that means they are still alive."[11]

Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang visited the site to inspect rescue efforts on the afternoon of November 21, while President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao are both said to have "made instructions on the rescue work".[2] Both have also expressed condolences for those killed.[13] Meanwhile, Li Zhanshu, the governor of Heilongjiang called for increased safety standards in Chinese mines,[13] and the provincial work safety bureau vowed to step up its mining reform programme.[6]

Chinese state television initially reported that the death toll was 31.[14] It later reported the number of dead had more than doubled over the extremely cold night.[4][5]

As a result of the accident, the director, vice director and chief engineer of the mining company are reported to have been removed from their individual posts.[9][13][15] The Chinese state prosecutor is investigating the possibility that criminal negligence was responsible for the disaster.[9][16] Chinese state media reported on November 23, 2009, that an investigation had concluded poor management was to blame for the incident.[10] Relatives of the deceased also claimed on November 23 that officials did not notify them of the accident.[17]

See also


  1. ^ "Mine Explosion Killed 108" (in Chinese). Sina.com. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  2. ^ a b Bradsher, Keith (22 November 2009). "At least 87 dies in Chinese mine explosion". New York Times. New York. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  3. ^ "At least 89 killed in coal mine blast". USA: Statesman.com. 22 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  4. ^ a b c MacArtney, Jane (22 November 2009). "Scores dead in China mine explosion". The Times. London. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  5. ^ a b c Duncan, Maxim (22 November 2009). "China mine explosion death toll reaches 87". London: Reuters. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  6. ^ a b c "87 workers perish in China mine disaster". Philippines: Philippine Daily Inquirer. 22 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-11-23. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  7. ^ a b "China coal mine blast death toll reaches 87". London: BBC News. 21 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  8. ^ "China mine death toll hits 92". Atlanta: CNN. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  9. ^ a b c d "92 killed in China mine disaster". Sydney: Sydney Morning Herald. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  10. ^ a b "Management blamed in China mine blas that kills 104". New York: CNN. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  11. ^ a b Cassidy, Katie (22 November 2009). "China mine gas explosion death toll rises". London: Sky News. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  12. ^ "Survivors recount mine disaster". New York: Associated Press. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  13. ^ a b c "Hopes fade for miners as fatal blast toll hits 92". Shanghai: Shanghai Daily News. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  14. ^ "Mine blast kills 42, scores still trapped in debris". Paris: France24. 21 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-11-24. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  15. ^ "China coal mine death toll hits 92". New York: Bloomberg. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  16. ^ "Mine explosion death toll reaches 92 in China". Gulf Times. 22 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-06-08. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  17. ^ Kosich, Dorothy (23 November 2009). "Deadly blast in state owned Chinese coal mine in Heilongjiang kills 104 miners". Nevada: Mineweb. Archived from the original on 2011-10-04. Retrieved 23 November 2009.

Coordinates: 47°18′50″N 130°16′39″E / 47.31389°N 130.27750°E / 47.31389; 130.27750

21 November 1979

The United States Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, is attacked by a mob and set on fire.

On 21 November 1979, Pakistani people, enraged by a radio report claiming that the United States had bombed the Masjid al-Haram, Islam’s holy site at Mecca, stormed the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, and burned it to the ground. The Grand Mosque had suffered a terrorist attack, but the U.S. was not involved. The U.S. diplomats survived by hiding in a reinforced area, although Marine Security Guard Corporal Steven Crowley, 20, Army Warrant Officer Bryan Ellis, 30, and two Pakistan staff members were killed in the attack.

On 20 November 1979, a Saudi Arabian Islamic zealot group had led a takeover of the Mosque in Mecca. The group’s demands included calling for the cutoff of oil exports to the United States and the expulsion of all foreign civilian and military experts from the Arabian Peninsula. However, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini allegedly claimed that Americans were behind the attack on Islam’s holiest place. This claim was repeated in media reports the morning of 21 November.

The event started as a small, peaceful protest against U.S. policies in Cambodia, as well as suspected U.S. involvement surrounding the military coup d’état of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1977. The protesters shouted anti-American slogans. At first glance the event seemed to be a small protest outside the embassy’s walls. Later, buses filled with Jamaat-i-Islami supporters began arriving in front of the main gate. Hundreds of people began climbing over the walls and trying to pull the walls down using ropes. According to an American investigation, the protesters opened fire after a bullet fired at the gate’s lock by one rioter ricocheted and struck other protesters. Who actually fired first has not been determined. Twenty-year-old Marine Steve Crowley was struck by a bullet and transported to the embassy’s secure communication vault along with the rest of personnel serving in the embassy. Locked behind steel-reinforced doors the Americans waited for help to come and rescue them from the smoke-filled building.

After nightfall a Marine unit was able to sneak out a back exit from the vault as the front door was too damaged to open. Finding the embassy empty they led the rest of the 140 people from the vault out into the courtyard.

21 November 1974

The Birmingham pub bombings kill 21 people.


Bombs have devastated two central Birmingham pubs, killing 19 people and injuring over 180.Police have said they believe the Provisional IRA planted the devices in the Mulberry Bush and the nearby Tavern in the Town.

The explosions coincided with the return to Ireland of the body of James McDade, the IRA man who was killed in Coventry last week when the bomb he was planting blew up prematurely.
The two blasts were only seconds apart and happened at about 2030 GMT, when the bars were packed with mainly teenage drinkers.

Police attempted to clear both pubs, but the bombs went off only 12 minutes after a man with an Irish accent telephoned the Birmingham Post newspaper with a warning.The first attack was in the Mulberry Bush, which is located on the ground-floor of the 17-storey Rotunda office block.

The second device exploded 50-yards (45.7 m) away in an underground bar, the Tavern in the Town.Michael Willis, 18, was in the Tavern when the bomb went off.”I was going to put a record on the juke box when there was an explosion.

“There were bodies everywhere and I had to clamber over them to get out – the screaming and groaning from the injured was terrifying,” he said.Many of the injured were ferried to nearby hospital in taxis and private cars, and dozens of ambulances from all over the West Midlands were called in.

Assistant Chief Constable for West Midlands Police Maurice Buck said the carnage caused by the bombs was “disastrous and appalling”.

21 November 2012

A bomb is thrown onto a bus in Tel Aviv, wounding 28 people.

The 2012 Tel Aviv bus bombing was a mass-injury terror attack carried out on November 21, 2012, on a crowded passenger bus driving in the center of Tel Aviv’s business district. The attack was carried out by an Israeli citizen of Arab descent, who remotely detonated an explosive device, which he had hid on the bus in advance. 28 civilians were injured in the attack, among them three who were injured seriously. The attack was not a suicide bombing, and police said they are investigating whether the attacker left a bomb on the bus or threw something on and ran. Police did say that one man was seen fleeing the site, but would not confirm reports that a suspect had been arrested. It was the first mass-injury terror attack in Tel Aviv since the 2006 Tel Aviv shawarma restaurant bombing, in which 11 people were killed and 70 were injured.