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19 miners killed and 28 others trapped after coal mine blast

Posted by Author on November 7, 2006

China Labour Bulletin, 7 November 2006-

Nineteen miners were killed and 28 others were trapped after a coal mine explosion in Shanxi Province.

The gas explosion occurred at the state-owned Jiaojiazhai Coal Mine in Xinzhou on 5 November. According to the rescue headquarters, 393 workers were working in the mine when the blast took place, and 346 miners escaped. As of 7 November, 19 miners were killed and 28 others were still trapped inside the mine.

Shanxi Governor Yu Youjun blamed the accidents for mine operators not following safety regulations. “Based on our preliminary analysis, this accident happened because [the mine] did not follow safety procedures in production. This is a big lesson for us,” he said.

A coal miner told China Labour Bulletin that armed police blocked the site after the coal mine explosion. Most of the miners at Jiaojiazhai were rural migrant workers. A trade union official of the mine said the union gathered the victims’ families at the mine’s guesthouse to “avoid anyone making any troubles”.

Wang Xianzheng, a vice-director of the State Administration of Work Safety, told Xinhua on 6 November that 345 miners were killed in 174 mine accidents in October. The number of deaths has increased by 44.4 percent comparing with that of September and the number of fatal accidents was up 26.1 percent.

Meanwhile, another mine accident on 4 November in Jilin Province that killed seven people was caused by miners smoking underground, according to Xinhua. Investigators found cigarette butts at the site in the Nanyang Hongyuan Coal Mine in Fudong.

Sources: Xinhua News Agency (7 November 2006), South China Morning Post (7 November 2006), China Labour Bulletin

Original report from China Labour Bulletin

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