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Poor management blamed for mine blast
By Min Sheng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-05 07:16

The coal mine in Hebi, Central China's Henan Province, where 34 miners were killed in a blast on Monday, was yesterday found to have many safety problems.

Meanwhile, a coal mine blast in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region yesterday left two people dead and 12 trapped.

Rescuers offered only slim hopes for the 12 trapped miners, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Eleven miners escaped the disaster, which happened at 10:45 am in Yatuer Colliery, Baicheng County.

Rescue operations were continuing last night, but rescuers said another blast is possible because of the heavy gas density underground. Measures were being taken to reduce the density, local officials said.

The National Bureau of Production Safety Supervision and Administration issued a statement yesterday, blaming safety problems for Monday's gas explosion in Hebi.

Problems existed in gas ventilation management and workplace management as well as production safety, the statement said.

According to the bureau, the mine is an old one with dwindling resources and outdated equipment.

As well as asking the company to close all its mines to check and improve safety equipment and management, the bureau also released a notice calling on China's production safety authorities and industries to take stricter measures to prevent accidents.

All coal mines without sound safety management and equipment must be closed, the notice said.

Local authorities were urged to strengthen supervision at mines whose resources are nearly exhausted.

Doctors said the 19 people who were injured by the gas explosion on Monday were in stable condition.

Local officials in Henan said the bodies of all 34 victims had been recovered.

Every one qualifies for compensation of about 75,000 yuan (US$9,000) because all the miners had workplace injury insurance.

Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday also joined calls on Chinese industry to focus on workplace safety.

He urged workplace safety authorities and industries to recheck and adjust safety measures.

(China Daily 10/05/2005 page1)

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