Measures to stop coalmine mishaps
By Chen Jia (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-10-03 09:13

Authorities will launch a three-month inspection on Oct 11 to prevent coalmine accidents nationwide, following a slew of fatal mining mishaps in the past months, the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) announced on its website on Wednesday.

As part of the work safety measures, the administration has urged all mines across the country to conduct self checks this month.

The mines will then be subjected to a thorough check next month.

All unlicensed mines and those that violate production safety regulations will be closed.

During inspections, related government departments will keep records related to the safety of drinking water, industrial facilities and residential areas around mines.

Mines that are deemed prone to accidents must suspend production and improve work facilities to safe levels, authorities said.

Last month, eight officials in Xiangfen county in Shanxi province were detained for negligence following a fatal accident in a deserted mining site that killed 267 nearby residents.

An iron ore dregs retaining pond in the county burst on Sept 8, letting loose a torrent of tailing, mud and rock that devastated a downstream village, an office building and a busy outdoor market.

An initial investigation found the collapse had occurred because of negligence. The tailing dump was built in violation of regulations and had few safety inspections.

"The September 8 landslide was a very serious production safety incident, causing great losses, having a bad impact and leaving a deep lesson," Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang said during a visit to the site of the landslide yesterday.

He said those responsible for it should be punished seriously in accordance with law.

In the same province, another landslide toppled a waste dump of a local iron mine and buried Sigou village in Loufan county in the suburbs of the provincial capital Taiyuan on Aug 1.

The death toll has reached 41, with local authorities saying 16 people were still missing.

The number of deaths from mining accidents has remained high from May to July this year, with 903 dead, SAWS figures showed.

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