Almost 200 Missing in China After Spate of Coal Mine Accidents

Five coal mine accidents in five days, including one in Shanxi in which rescuers are trying to save 153 miners, have left almost 200 miners trapped. From Bloomberg:

A total of 28 people were killed in the most recent spate of accidents in the five days through yesterday, according to reports in provincial government statements and state media.

About seven people died a day from coal mine accidents in 2009 in China, the world’s top coal producer, despite government efforts to merge small mines and shut unlicensed producers to improve safety. That compares with 18 deaths for the entire year in the U.S., the No. 2 producer.

More than 2,000 rescuers worked for a fifth day in the northern province of Shanxi to reach 153 people shut in by a flood that took place on Sunday. Managers ignored warnings of water leakages and failed to evacuate diggers, the State Administration of Work Safety said on March 31.

The accident, which could become China’s deadliest in more than two years, may spur the state to order a fresh round of safety checks nationwide.

Meanwhile, there was a recent sign that at least some of the miners trapped in Shanxi are still alive. From AP video:

April 2, 2010, 2:46 PM
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