Linfen -- The local government is determined to take
every measure to stem serious coal mine accidents that cause more than 10 deaths
a year, said Mayor Li Tiantai on Tuesday.
Those departments failing to efficiently supervise production safety will be
punished, Li said. "Linfen is one of the most coal-rich areas in Shanxi Province
with a large number of coal mines. It is one of our priorities to make sure that
no serious coal mine accident takes place in Linfen."
Linfen Mayor Li Tiantai speaks to online media reporters
during a press conference on May 22, 2007.
He acknowledged the difficulties in developing and managing coal mine
enterprises due to the number of coal mines, but stressed the government has
gone a long way to tackle safety problems.
"Large companies are encouraged to merge with small ones to make better use
of resources and to provide better regulations for production safety. Besides,
we attach great importance to environmental protection alongside wealth
creation. Instead of unscientific exploitation for low returns, we now advocate
sustainable development to protect coal resources." Li told the reporters.
A gas explosion at Pudeng coal mine accident in the city's Puxian County
during the past Labor Day holiday killed 28 miners and injured 23 -- the second
accident in six days. Li said the accident seriously impacted the city's
residents , and a group with the State Council is still investigating the
Pudeng Coal Mine, has an annual production capacity of 150,000 tons. The
village set it up in 1986 and then the mine became a private venture three years
Shanxi has coal reserves topping 264 billion tons, amounting to 26 percent of
the national figure. It produces about 600 million tons of coal a