Henan, one of the nation’s leading producers of coal, will assess a fine equal to 1 million yaun, or $US123,456, for each death occurring in such an accident, China news service Xinhua announced this week.
The new stipulation is part of a recently announced initiative by China’s government to reduce fatalities and shut down illegal production. Mines that produce without proper licensing, according to Xinhua, are subject to a fine of between 2 million yuan ($US246,913) and 5 million yuan ($US617,283) and a forced closure.
The Sigou accident had only 34 survivors from a total of 76 underground workers, and lately the nation has been riddled with fatal accidents; more than a half-dozen accidents including numerous deaths have been reported since early November alone.
In addition, Chinese officials said from January to September 2005, 4,228 workers lost their lives in 2,337 mining accidents.