China mine toll up; 7 trapped

2010-10-18 08:51

kalahari.com

  • Chinese Culture
    Read all you need to know about the Chinese culture in this insightful title. Now R447.00
    buy now
Beijing - The death toll from a coal mine blast in China has risen to 30, officials said on Monday, as hopes faded for seven miners still trapped - prompting anger from web users wishing for a Chile-style rescue.

Saturday's accident in the central province of Henan was the first major incident in China's notoriously dangerous mines since the dramatic rescue last week of 33 miners trapped for more than two months in Chile, watched worldwide.

State media joined users of China's vast blogosphere in condemning the country's existing safety procedures, saying more needed to be done to reduce the massive mine death toll, which last year topped 2 600.

In the city of Yuzhou in Henan, rescuers pulled more bodies out of the dank coal pit early on Monday, bringing the death toll to 30, with seven others still unaccounted for, the State Administration of Work Safety said in a statement.

Rescuers said on Sunday there was little hope of finding any more survivors in the colliery, and that it would likely take several days to find those still missing.

Du Bo, the deputy director of the rescue operation, said the missing miners were likely buried in the more than 2 500 tons of coal dust that smothered the pit after the gas blast.

Actual mine death numbers higher

A total of 276 miners were at work below ground when the disaster happened, and 239 managed to make it to the surface, the national work safety agency said.

Independent labour groups say the actual number of mine deaths last year is likely much higher than the seven people a day estimated by the government.

The government has repeatedly vowed to shut dangerous mines and increase safety, but the accidents continue with regularity as mines hustle to pump out the coal on which China relies for about 70% of its energy.

On the internet, reaction has been swift and bitter - with many making unfavourable comparisons to the situation in Chile.

"The Chilean miracle has signed the death warrant of the mine safety system in China," one user using the screen name Xiaodaoren wrote on sina.com's popular Twitter-like microblogging service.

"If we don't fundamentally resolve these mine security issues, the accidents will not stop and we will be unable to avoid the deaths and injuries."

Another, named Cheng Jing 33, wrote: "The difference with Chile is enormous. The mines here are not inspected enough and poorly managed."

‘Safety’ zones unsafe


Chilean President Sebastian Piñera offered to help China, saying during a visit to London that his country had learned from the San Jose mine disaster.

Chen Jiaguo, a miner who escaped the blast, told the Beijing News that safety zones in the mine were mostly filled with debris - not survival equipment and basic necessities.

"There was no rescue equipment in the tunnels, no food or water and most of the time, the safety zones were filled with scrap metal and debris," the paper cited Chen as saying.

"Other than that, the ventilation fans were not strong enough and did not ventilate the air enough."

Premier orders safety revamp

In an editorial on Monday, the state-run newspaper said China's efforts were not good enough.

"If we cannot in the shortest amount of time possible build emergency rescue systems in our mines and give miners a chance to live... then more and more miners are going to be placed in harm's way," it said.

In July, Premier Wen Jiabao lamented China's "serious" work safety situation, ordering mining bosses to work side-by-side with workers in the pits to ensure companies observed safety rules.

To satisfy that requirement, a deputy chief engineer was in the Yuzhou mine at the time of the explosion and helped evacuate miners, the China News Service reported.

China had its own "miracle" mine rescue in April when 115 miners were rescued after more than a week trapped underground in a flooded mine shaft in the northern province of Shanxi.
 

- SAPA
Read more on:    china  |  mining  |  chile trapped miners
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

ONE DAY ONLY – 50% off 1000’s of toys

Get 50% of 1000’s off toys! Offer valid on selected toys. Shop now! T&C’s apply

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Mind power dominates and can help you to uncover things from a deeper level, but it can also create entanglements if you let your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.