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Chinese tragedy claims 77 lives

Publishing Date
12 Mar 2009 12:11pm GMT
Mining Journal

An explosion at the Tunlan coal mine in Shanxi, China, has killed 77 people, adding to the country’s grim statistics for mine safety. The explosion occurred when 400 miners were working underground at the coal mine on February 22.

More than 100 of the miners remain in hospital, Chinese media have reported. China’s coal industry is notoriously dangerous, with an average toll of 17 deaths daily. Three top officials from the mine, owned by Shanxi Coking Coal Group, China’s largest coking-coal producer, have been dismissed following the incident.

The state’s governor, Wang Jun, who was moved to the position a few months ago after growing concerns about mine safety, broke down in tears while apologising to the victims’ families. “We’ve let down the deceased miners and their families,” he said.

The government could call for mines in the region to suspend production for a safety inspection, which may tighten supply of coking coal to steel manufacturers.

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