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China curbs mine explosives in bid to improve safety: report

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Oct 5, 2008
China has ordered its coal mines to store no more explosives than are needed for three days in order to reduce the risk of accidents in the lethal industry, state media said Sunday.

A recent statement from the cabinet also said that detonators stored underground must not exceed the requirements for 10 days of normal operations, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Explosives and detonators must be kept separately, the cabinet order emphasised, according to Xinhua.

In addition, the cabinet has ordered coal mines to put specific people in charge of the explosives and set up systems that carefully keep track of the deadly materials and ensure nothing disappears, Xinhua said.

Blasts often happen in Chinese mines, but they are more frequently caused by gas accumulating underground than by explosives mishandled by the miners.

Nearly 3,800 people died in Chinese coal mines last year, according to official figures, although independent monitors say the real figure is probably much higher as many accidents are covered up.

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Death toll in NE China coal mine fire leaps to 19: report
Beijing (AFP) Sept 21, 2008
The death toll from a fire in a northeastern China coal mine leapt to 19 on Sunday with the discovery of another 14 bodies, state-run Xinhua news agency said.

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