Chinese government says coal mine accidents killed 1,049 in 2013
07 January 2014
Accidents in Chinese coal mines killed 1,049 people last year, against 1,384 the year before and 1,973 in 2011, the central government said on its website. The 24% improvement on 2012 reflects efforts by the State Administration of Work Safety to improve regulation and safety management at the country’s many mines.
Since the start of 2012, SAWS has shut down 628 smaller coal mines, enforced technological efficiencies at 622 mines and amalgamated 388 other mines. It said last year it would close 2,000 small, unregulated coal mines within two years.
"Safety in coal mining continues to steadily improve," the website entry said, according to AFP.
Some advocacy groups claim these figures under-represent the true casualty figures, because of cover-ups by mining companies.
In early January four people were reported to have been killed in two coal mine explosions, and last month, 21 miners died in an explosion at Baiyanggou coal mine in China's western Xinjiang region.
Other major incidents in 2013 included two blasts in May, when 40 miners died in Sichuan and Guizhou provinces in the southwest, while an explosion at a coal mine in the northeastern province of Jilin killed 28 people in March.