BEIJING - China has kept a "generally stable" coal mine safety record in the first nine months of 2010, as the death toll caused by accidents remained almost flat over the same period last year, Zhao Tiechui, head of the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety (SACMS), said Monday.
From January to September, the nation's coal output reached 2.44 billion tons, up 17.2 percent, but accidents dropped 13.2 percent year-on-year, Zhao said.
He did not give any actual numbers of coal mine accidents or deaths caused during period, but said the death ratio per million tons of coal output stood at 0.783 percent, down 13.9 percent over the same period last year.
According to the SACMS's last publicized figures, deaths from coal mine accidents totaled 3,215 in China in 2008. In the January-September period of 2009, China recorded 591 fewer deaths from coal mine accidents, down by 23.8 percent from the 2008 level.
Gas explosions, floods and fires inside coal mines were frequent occurrences during the first nine months, posing severe safety challenges to China's coal mine production, Zhao said.
In a separate report by the State Administration of Work Safety in July this year, workplace accidents left 33,876 people dead in China during the first half of the year.