China to shut down 4,000 mines by Dec. 31
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-13 06:13
In the wake of a series of recent fatal colliery accidents, China's work
safety authorities vowed Monday to adopt a package of "iron-handed" measures to
improve the problematic workplace safety situation.
The State Council will dispatch several overhaul panels into eight major
coal-producing provinces, including Shanxi, Hebei, Inner Mongolia Autonomous
Region, Liaoning and Shaanxi in the upcoming fortnight, said Li Yizhong, head of
the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), during a televised conference.
Rescuers evacuate a miner from the Liuguantun
Colliery in the Kaiping District of Tangshan, north China's Hebei
province, December 7, 2005. At least 74 miners were killed in the
Supervision efforts on colliery work safety will focus on a number of
aspects, according to Li.
To conduct a thorough safety check-up on possible dangers and enhance
supervision on collieries that were asked to stop production for improvements;
To shut down at least 4,000 coal mines that could not meet work safety
standards even after improvements by December 31;
To crack down on illicit mining activities as well as suspend the approval of
new projects in the name of technological innovation and expansion;
To further implement measures on gas control and curb over-production that
To pursue people who misuse their rights or violate work safety regulations.
Recently released figures from SAWS indicate that 116,027 people had been
killed in 677,379 workplace accidents by December 11 this year. The figures are
9,618 and 72,845 lower than 2004 respectively.
Workplace accident figures include traffic accidents.
As for the coal mining industry, 5,491 miners died in 2,939 colliery
accidents, 206 more than last year.
One week ago, a gas blast in a privately-owned coal mine in Tangshan, Hebei
Province killed 91 people and left 17 others still missing, according to the
Under the demand of the State Council, a special investigation panel was set
up on Saturday to find out the causes of the accident and punish those
Initial investigations indicated that illicit production, loopholes in
management and lack of work safety training may have led to the accident, he
Seven suspects were detained by local police on charges of being responsible
for the accident, reports said.
(China Daily 12/13/2005 page2)