China mining deaths up despite government efforts

THE number of serious coal mining accidents in China and the deaths they caused in the first eight months of this year has increased by 50% and 25% respectively on the same period for last year, according to a government official.

Staff Reporter

In an interview with China Daily, Zhao Tiechui, deputy director of the State Administration of Work Safety, said 4150 workers have lost their lives in coal mining accidents this year.

The number of accidents to date is 2452.

Zhao said the six worst accidents up until September had claimed a total of 309 lives.

Despite the government's plea for coal miners to implement better workplace safety campaigns in recent years Zhao said there is still much to be done to make the industry safer in China.

"Small unlicensed coal mines are still the biggest headache and the key to preventing more accidents and death," Zhao said.

"The number of accidents and deaths caused by small coal mines have accounted for more than 70% of the total nationwide this year."