This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

18 dead in Chinese blast

30 April 2009

China's dangerous coal mining industry claims 18 victims, and injures a further six, in an explosion on April 17th 2009 at a warehouse storing explosives and detonators. The explosion was so powerful that it completely destroyed the three-story warehouse at the mine in Chenzhou city in Hunan province in central China.

18 dead in Chinese blast
18 dead in Chinese blast

Police are searching for the owners and investigating whether the explosives were bought and stored illegally.

Large, state-run mines tend to have safety records approaching those of developed countries, while smaller mines have little or no safety equipment and weak worker training.

Unlicensed, unregulated mines account for almost 80% of China's 16,000 mines. The central government has closed down a number of these coal mines in recent years to reduce the number of accidents. Policies to improve safety are not always enforced at local levels - and accidents like this one continue to happen.
Beijing has promised for years to improve mine safety, but China's mining industry remains the world's deadliest. The cause of the accidents is often obsolete equipment or poor safety measures while many accidents occur at illegal mines where tens of thousands of migrants from other areas work.

The official death toll for 2008 stood at 3,215, a 15% drop on the previous year, but analysts suspect that the figure is much higher, as many mines cover up fatalities to avoid having their work suspended by authorities.

Print this page | E-mail this page