Shanxi plans colliery safety systems

( Xinhua )

Updated: 2012-07-09

TAIYUAN - The government of North China's Shanxi province has ordered all its collieries to install safety systems before 2014 to reduce accidents in the region's dangerous mines, local authorities said on Friday.

According to Shanxi's five-year plan (2011-2015) for production safety, all collieries in the province must install a system with functions including monitoring, underground miner positioning, emergency refuge areas, water supply and rescue contingencies, according to an official with the provincial coal mine trading center.

Collieries which fail to install the systems will face penalties including production suspension, license withdrawal and closure, he said.

China's mining sector saw 289 deaths in 185 accidents in the first quarter of this year, the State Administration of Work Safety said in April. Almost 2,000 miners were killed in colliery accidents last year.

Poor safety regulations and a lack of safety awareness are usually blamed for the frequent accidents.

Shanxi has long been China's top coal producer and plagued with mining disasters. It was surpassed by neighboring Inner Mongolia autonomous region as the country's top producer in 2010.