China moves to tighten mine safety

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at
Fri Nov 17 04:37:24 MST 2000

15 November 2000

China moves to tighten mine safety
BEIJING: China released new rules Tuesday to tighten safety in its deadly
coal mines, even as state media reported another accident, this one killing
at least 14 miners.
Two explosions Sunday at the mine in the mountainous southern province of
Guangxi left another miner missing, feared dead, and two others seriously
injured, state media and a local official said.
Police detained the owner of the privately run mine on suspicion that he
ignored safety regulations, said the government official in Guangxi's
Tiandong county.
Ten men, including the two seriously injured, survived the accident, said
the official, who gave only his surname, Zhou.
A first blast occurred as eight miners were transporting coal to the
surface, blowing them upwards toward the mouth of the 100-meter-(330-foot-)
deep shaft, and a second explosion came minutes later, the Beijing Morning
Post said.
China's mines are the world's deadliest, with 4,883 people killed in the
first 10 months of this year alone. Poor safety, lax enforcement and low
investment have contributed to the carnage.
The new regulations that go into force on December 1 mandate routine safety
inspections, with a network of mine safety inspectors who must carry out
regular checks and file safety reports every 15 days.
Inspectors can shut mines that do not meet standards in ventilation, and
fire, flood, gas, and dust controls, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Miners, many of whom are unemployed farmers, will be required to receive
safety training and proper equipment, Xinhua said.
The regulations also mandated fines of up to 150,000 yuan ($18,290) for
safety violations.(AP)
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