Explosion in Chinese Coal Mine Kills 21
December 13, 2013
China's coal mines, long known for being the deadliest in the world, have just experienced another disaster. 21 miners are reported dead after a gas explosion in a coal mine in the Xinjiang Uygur region. Chinese state media reported that twelve workers escaped after the explosion happened in the early morning and of those trapped under the debris only one is believed to have made it out alive.
According to the Chinese bureau of coal mine safety supervision, rescue teams and firefighters have been rushed to the scene to see if any other survivors can be found.
Last year 1,384 people died in coal mining accidents in China. That number was 33.7% less than 2011. China is known for having some of the world's largest coal mining operations and unfortunately, also the most accidents. Even with its safety record improving, mining for coal in China is a very dangerous occupation.
As safety organizations press China to improve mining conditions the country is also preparing to shut down over 2,000 small coal mines over the next two years. In addition to mining accidents including gas explosions and falling debris, coal mines are known for polluting the environment and China is taking steps to improve their spotty record on environmental concern.