CHINA / National

China to improve industrial safety
Updated: 2006-04-14 08:42

A senior Chinese government official on Thursday called for more efforts to reduce fatal industrial accidents as reports of deaths continue to arrive.

Hua Jianmin, State councillor and secretary-general of the State Council, issued the call at a work safety meeting he presided over in Beijing.

Industrial safety standards remained poor despite year-on-year falls of the number of accidents and casualties in the first quarter of this year, said Hua.

The continual increase in fatal accidents involving coal mines, dangerous chemical products and transportation had yet to be curbed, he said.

Hua called on local governments and agencies to give top priority to industrial safety, and take measures to further detect and eliminate hidden disasters.

Local governments were urged to continue efforts to resolve the issues of gas in coal mines, to rectify and close unlicensed or dangerous mines, while preventing the illegal reopening of mines that have been closed, including failures to meet safety rules.

Explosions involving coal mines resulted in thousands of deaths each year, and the government had introduced a broad range of measures to curb fatal accidents in the coal and other sectors.

On Wednesday, Hua ordered strict monitoring of the polluted Songhua River as the spring thaw approached.

About 100 tons of benzene compounds were discharged into the Songhua River after a huge explosion at Jilin Petrochemical Company on November 13 last year in the worst river pollution incident since the founding of New China in 1949.