CHINA - At least 63 more coal miners were killed last weekend at a coal mine explosion in the city of Shuozhou in the northern part of the country. The tragedy occurred at the Xishui colliery, which had been ordered shut in November because of safety problems. The owners, who disregarded the closure order, were detained by police.
Nineteen of the dead miners were reportedly working in the nearby Kangjiayao mine and were trapped when their workplace collapsed from the impact of the explosion at Xishui. The Kangjiayao mine was operating legally.
As noted last week on CMJ's website, each year over 6,000 Chinese workers die in coal mine accidents. The numbers this year look to be well on the way to similar levels. To turn the problem around, it will take the commitment of the government, mine owners and individual miners. Safety in the workplace is coming too late for thousands and their families.