» 02/15/2006, 00.00
Over 35,000 "unsafe" industries to be shut down
This was announced today by the agency for occupational safety. The companies were found to be "inadequate and dangerous" despite a year of grace and billions of yuan spent by Beijing to get them up to scratch.
Beijing (AsiaNews/SCMP) China's work safety agency today announced the imminent closure of 35,842 industries in various sectors which do not meet minimum safety standards imposed by the government.
The government agency said the companies facing closure are: 8,053 non coal mines; 2,500 dangerous chemical companies, 350 fireworks makers, 24,923 construction companies and 16 explosives manufacturers.
These industries were given a year to get into line with regulations and Beijing allocated several billion yuan to adapt their structures to international standards of prevention of work accidents. But corruption among officials put paid to all efforts made.
The decision follows continued nationwide protests for victims of Chinese industry. According to government statistics, more than 6,000 miners die each year in "foreseeable accidents", but independent sources point to at least 20,000 "hidden" victims of owners who seek to avoid closure and government-imposed fines.
Heilongjiang mine death toll climbs to 166
Another five miners are killed in an illegal mine in Hebei
Shanxi: 17 killed in coal mine blast
The force of the explosion hit a neighbouring mine too. "Corruption is the true cause of mine accidents," charges the director of the director of the State Administration of Work Safety.
Shanxi: Thirty-three dead in mine blast
Mining executives to go down into the mines
This directive comes at a time when accidents continue unabated. In Hebei province dozens of miners die in cave-ins in three gypsum mines. Other serious accidents occur in Hunan and Hubei provinces.
The inexorable slaughter of Chinese miners: An overview
Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug
After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."
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