China Blames Negligence for Causing Coal Mine Flood in Shanxi
The Wangjialing pit at the northern China province was overcrowded and the management did not evacuate workers despite reports of water leakages, the State Administration of Work Safety said in a statement on its Web site today. No death toll has been reported.
China has the world’s worst coal-mine safety record, with 5,986 workers killed in 2005, driving the industry fatality rate to 140 times higher than the U.S. that year. The Chinese government in recent years merged small coal mines and shut unlicensed producers to force them to improve their safety.
Still, the Wangjialing accident may spur the state to order a fresh round of safety checks nationwide. A September 2009 safety check closed mines and tightened supply in the world’s biggest producer and user of coal. China turned a net importer of the fuel for the first time in 2009 in part because of the output squeeze.