Enhancing mine safety 'top priority'
Vice-Premier Huang Ju yesterday called for improved safety measures in the nation's coal mines.
"Ensuring safe production in coal mines is a top priority of the country," he said during a two-day conference on mine safety held in Huainan City of East China's Anhui Province, which ended yesterday.
Comprehensive measures should be adopted to effectively prevent and curb the number of gas blasts, so as to maintain coal mine safety and promote production, Huang said.
Generally, he said, the safety situation in the country's collieries has improved, with a year-on-year drop in the total number of pit accidents and deaths.
However, he said, due to the strained coal supply, fragile management and inadequate supervision, big blasts occurred from time to time.
He said he underscored the urgency to cut back the number of these tragedies, and called for increased investment in mine safety through the implementation of advanced technologies and equipment.
Meanwhile in Changchun, 30 miners remain missing after being trapped underground by flooding in a coal mine in Jiaohe of Northeast China's Jilin Province. Yesterday, 10 rescue workers were overcome by carbon monoxide.
"The rescuers are in a stable condition after medical treatment," said Sun Hongzhi, director of Jilin Provincial Coal Administration.
On Monday, 39 miners were rescued from the Tengda Coal Mine which flooded on Sunday when water from the neighbouring Ji'an mine gushed into the shaft, trapping 69 workers underground.
(China Daily 04/27/2005 page2)