China’s mines claim 1,792 lives in first half of 2007


Beijing : More than 1,000 coal mine mishaps during the first half of this year claimed 1,792 lives in China, the government said.

Support TwoCircles

The number of coal mine accidents in China during January-June period of 2007 totalled 1,066, down 242 from the same period last year, according to officials with the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety (SACMS) and the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS).

The death toll was 1,792 during the first half, 14.3 per cent lower than the same period last year, averaging less than 10 per day.

In 2006, coal mine accidents killed 4,746 people in China in 2006 with an average of 13 deaths per day.

According to the SAWS, small coal mines account for one third of total production but two thirds of the deaths from coal mine accidents.

The death ratio in producing one million tonnes of coal was 1.633, down 19.9 per cent compared with the same period last year, SACMS Director, Zhao Tiechui said.

"Though we have made some progress, we should still be aware of the severe situation regarding coal mine work safety," he said.

He said illegal coal mines were still the main cause of coal mine accidents, and there was a rise in accidents involving gas explosions.

Zhao ordered all branches of the SACMS to continue strengthening work safety supervision, close illegal and small coal mines without safe working conditions and harshly punish those responsible for accidents.