Amid the euphoria over the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners, a reminder of how dangerous mining can be – especially in China. An explosion at a coal mine at Yuzhou in Henan province has killed 20 and trapped another 17 underground.
Official reports say that 239 miners got to the surface safely, and that attempts are being made to reach the missing men. China’s mining industry is the most dangerous in the world, with more than 2,600 killed in accidents last year.
The government has tried to improve standards, closing down more than 1,500 illegal pits this year. It also brought in new regulations saying that mine managers have to go and work underground with their men. This tougher approach has helped to reduce the number of deaths from nearly 7,000 a year in 2002, but many miners are poorly trained migrant workers, and rules are often broken.
(See also my blog of Nov 23, 2009.)
*The Glasgow and Leicester edition of myvillage.com have kindly put up articles about my books.