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China to close at least 4,000 coal mines this year: official
Updated: 2005-11-08 21:33

China's coal mine safety watchdog has ordered the closing down of at least 4,000 coal mines, the People's Daily reported on Tuesday.

The move comes in the wake of a series of coal mine and coal mine-related accidents across the country which claimed dozens of lives between November 3 and 8.

Zhao Tiechui, director of the National Bureau of Production Safety Supervision and Administration, revealed on Monday that so far, 12,148 coal mines have been ordered to suspend production for rectification. Among them, 1,870 were closed for safety reasons.

Coal is the major energy resource in China, covering 67 percent of the country's consumption structure of all primary energy resources.

In recent years, the Chinese government has issued a series of regulations and measures to improve coal mine safety.

But, the situation is still grave. Official statistics said that from January to September this year, 4,228 people were killed in 2,337 coal mine accidents. Up to October 10, there were 43 major accidents nationwide. A major accident means more than 10 deaths at one time.

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