Canadian Manufacturing

Scores dead in weekend of landslides and explosions at Chinese mining operations

by The Canadian Press   

Canadian Manufacturing
Manufacturing Beijing explosion

A string of deadly industrial accidents across the country is focusing attention on lax enforcement of safety regulations.

BEIJING—An explosion killed six workers Monday at a coal mine in northeast China where 28 miners were killed in a similar accident just three days earlier, state media reported.

It wasn’t clear why work had restarted at the mine so soon after last week’s deadly blast.

These are two in a string of deadly industrial accidents across the country that is focusing attention on lax enforcement of safety regulations.

The explosion at the mine outside the city of Baishan in Jilin province left 11 other miners missing, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. The cause of the most recent accident was under investigation.


Further south, an explosion at the Xinyu Group Iron Works smashed its 100-ton No. 2 furnace, killing four people and leaving 32 injured Monday, Xinhua said. It said the injured were transported to a hospital but gave no word on the cause of the accident.

Staff members reached by phone at the company confirmed the explosion, but said they had no other information to provide. Local government officials declined to comment, and all refused to give their names.

Meanwhile, workers on Monday had recovered 36 bodies from the site of a massive landslide outside Tibet’s capital, Lhasa, that buried 83 copper miners on Friday, Xinhua said.

Just one worker survived the disaster at the Jiama Copper Polymetallic Mine, having left the site earlier to purchase tents in the city, it said. The miners were mostly impoverished farmers from the southern province of Guizhou recruited to work in the frigid conditions at 4,600 metres (15,100 feet) above sea level.

More than 4,000 rescuers were still looking for those buried, but little hope was being held out for their survival, Xinhua said. The sudden collapse of the surrounding hillside left a layer of rocks and soil over the miners 30 metres (98 feet) deep in places, the reports said.

China has struggled to boost workplace safety in recent years amid the pressures of rapid economic growth. Tougher enforcement of safety rules has brought major improvements in areas such as coal mining, while companies have also been forced to improve conditions to attract workers amid a tightening labour market.


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