Saturday, October 25, 2014
16 killed in coal mine collapse in northwest China
Sixteen workers were killed after a coal mine collapsed in China'snorthwestern region of Xinjiang, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday, highlighting the poor safety standards in the world's biggest coal producing country.
The accident occurred in the regional capital of Urumqi on Friday night when 33 workers were underground, the report said citing local officials.
Eleven workers were injured and six escaped, it added.
The report did not identify the name of the coal mine and said the cause of the accident is being investigated.
China's mines are the deadliest in the world because of lax enforcement of safety standards and a rush to feed demand from a robust economy.
Twenty two workers were killed in a coal mine accident in southwestern China in June.
In an effort to eliminate outdated capacity and improve work safety, China plans to shut down over 2,000 small-scale coal mines by 2015.
While China still produces and consumes almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined, the amount it burned in the first three quarters of 2014 was off by about 2 per cent from the same period last year, according to Greenpeace energy analysts in China.
That came despite slower but still robust economic growth of 7.4 per cent during the same period, showing that China's economy is becoming somewhat more efficient in its energy use.
Widespread use of coal is largely blamed for the choking smog that envelops major cities in the country.
Beijing on Saturday was smothered in a toxic cloud that prompted many citizens to don air filtering masks when venturing outside