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China mine explosion leaves at least six dead

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) July 8, 2010
An explosion at a mine in central China on Thursday killed at least six people and left 34 others injured, many of them residents living near the pit, local authorities said.

The blast took place in Henan province's Pingdingshan city, according to a report on the city's official website. The mine was not operational at the time of the accident.

The explosion left a hole 10 metres (yards) deep and more than 10 metres wide, shattering windows 50 metres away and blowing off the roof of a large warehouse, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Local authorities said 15 of those who were injured were nearby residents, and the rest were maintenance and security employees. They were all taken to hospital, where two of them were still in serious condition.

The cause of the blast had not yet been uncovered, officials said.

The mine was in the process of being taken over by China's state-run Zhong Ping Energy Chemical Group, one of the nation's top 500 firms, they added.

China's vast coal mining industry is notoriously accident-prone due to lax regulation, corruption and inefficiency as mines rush to meet soaring demand.

earlier related report
China coal bosses ordered into shafts in safety move
Beijing (AFP) July 8, 2010 - Premier Wen Jiabao has ordered China's mining bosses to work side-by-side with miners in the country's notoriously dangerous pits in the latest effort to raise safety standards.

In a work safety meeting on Wednesday, Wen lamented the nation's "serious" work safety situation and the frequent occurrence of large-scale industrial accidents, a report on the meeting posted on the cabinet's website said.

He said mining managers should share the risks with miners as a way of ensuring that companies more closely observe safety rules.

"Enterprise leaders must work on site shifts in rotation, while coal mine and non-coal mine leaders must work shifts and descend into mine pits with workers," he said.

China's vast coal mining industry is notoriously accident-prone due to lax regulation, corruption and inefficiency as mines rush to meet soaring demand.

China relies on coal-generated power for about 70 percent of its electricity needs.

Besides the mining industry, Wen also ordered improvement in work safety standards in the transportation, construction, chemical and metallurgical industries, the report said.

The government regularly pledges to clean up safety problems in its mines but deadly accidents remain routine.

In one of the most recent, an explosion in a colliery in central China two weeks ago killed 47 coal miners.

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Carbon monoxide kills nine miners in China
Beijing (AFP) July 5, 2010
Nine miners died from carbon monoxide poisoning over the weekend at a colliery in central China, state media reported Monday, in the latest accident to plague the notoriously dangerous industry. Three miners died in the pit, while six others who were initially rescued died later in hospital, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing Liu Xianghua, the deputy director of the coal mining ... read more

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