08/22/2005, 00.00
Send to a friend

Illegal mines will be closed or blown up to prevent further accidents

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The authorities of Jilin have decided to close more than 70 coal mines to carry out security controls following a high number of accidents and deaths. In Guangdong region, illegal mines are being blown up using dynamite.

The Jilin government move comes after the umpteenth accident took place on Friday 19 August: flooding in the Fengguang mine blocked the exit of 16 miners in Tunnel no.5 of the complex. Another 136 managed to escape. According to Xinhua, the flooding came from a waterbed in an abandoned mine nearby. Rescue squads are trying to block the leakages and at the same time they are pumping more than 300,000 cubic metres of water from the tunnel. Two or three more days are needed to complete their task, but the squads have not yet managed to localize the trapped miners. The authorities have ordered the closure of all mines in the Shulan area. After inspection, mines which do not meet security guarantees will remain closed.

The accident in Jilin is at least the fourth since the beginning of August. The most serious was the one which took place in Xingning in the north of Guangdong, where 123 people were killed. Following this incident, the regional government decided to close and to blow up all illegal mines with dynamite. So far, 32 mines have been blown up in the Lianzhou area. Other mines were destroyed in Meizhou and Shaoguan. Some owners and miners in Lianzhou have criticized the government decision, insisting their papers were in order. Thousands of people in Shaoguan held demonstrations to protest against the destruction of the mine, which would take away their livelihood.

In the first six months of the year, there have been at least 2,700 deaths in mine accidents in China, due to explosions, tunnels caving in and fires. The acute need of energy sources and the pull of easy money push many businessmen to open old abandoned mines which do not adhere to minimal security criteria. The government gave directives that illegal mines should be closed but the local authorities often close an eye because they are a source of income and employment in many poor regions.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Two managers condemned for death of 166 miners in Shaanxi
2,900 die in Chinese mines over 8 months
Mining executives to go down into the mines
Lifeless bodies of 33 miners recovered from Chongqing coal mine
02/11/2016 09:06
Guangdong Governor admits responsibility for death of 123 miners


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”