News of many major coal mine accidents never see the light of day due to cover-ups and local corruption. From the New York Times’ Sharon LaFraniere:
For nearly three months, not a word leaked from the heart of China’s coal belt about the July 14 explosion that racked the illegal mine, a 1,000-foot wormhole in Hebei Province, about 100 miles west of Beijing.
The mine owner paid off grieving families and cremated the miners’ bodies, even when relatives wanted to bury them. Local officials pretended to investigate, then issued a false report. Journalists were bribed to stay silent. The mine shaft was sealed with truckloads of dirt.
“It was so dark and evil in that place,” said the wife of one miner who missed his shift that day and so was spared. “No one dared report the accident because the owner was so powerful.”