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Over 100,000 die in road and industrial accidents in China in 2007: report

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Jan 13, 2008
Industrial and road accidents killed 101,480 people in China last year, a drop of about 10 percent compared to 2006, the state's safety watchdog said in a report seen Sunday.

Most fatalities occurred on China's dangerous roads, although there were fewer traffic deaths in 2007 than in 2006, Li Yizhong, head of the State Administration of Work Safety, said.

Although Li did not say how many people died in traffic accidents in 2007, his administration reported last year that nearly 89,000 people were killed on China's roads in 2006 -- about 245 traffic-related deaths each day.

Besides road safety, the work safety administration also oversees industrial accidents, including mine safety and other work-related incidents.

"The production safety situation is improving nationwide, but the task ahead remains arduous this year," Li said in the report, which was posted on the work safety website.

Fatalities in China's deadly coal mines in 2007 fell by over 20 percent from the year before, he said, with Xinhua news agency saying nearly 3,800 miners died in the nation's mines last year.

China has the largest population in the world with 1.3 billion people.

Meanwhile, in the latest industrial accident to strike the nation, five people were killed and 32 injured when an explosion ripped through a chemical factory in southwestern China's Yunnan province on Sunday.

Two people remain missing after the early morning explosion at a sulphuric acid plant in the provincial capital of Kunnming ignited a large fire on the factory premises, Xinhua news agency said.

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