|A technician checks a high-tension wire on April 11 to ensure that mineshafts at a coal mine company in Huaibei, Anhui province, are receiving power in a safe way. [Huang Shipeng/China Daily]|
The death toll from accidents in China fell by 18.5 percent from the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011, Luo Lin, head of the State Administration of Work Safety, said on Friday.
From January to March, 13,305 people were killed in mine mishaps, traffic accidents, fires and other accidents, a number down by 3,070 from the same period in 2010.
Luo attributed the decline in the number of accidents and in the related death toll to the efforts of governments and businesses to ensure the safety of workplaces.
"There was no very serious accident nationwide during the first quarter," he said.
In China, accidents that lead to at least 30 deaths are deemed to be "very serious".
During the first quarter of 2010, the number of deaths caused by serious accidents reached 152. All of them were the result of disasters that occurred at coal mines.
Meanwhile, the first quarter of this year saw Chinese workers suffering from fewer accidents that caused from 10 to 29 deaths, Luo said.
To prevent accidents, the State Administration of Work Safety will continue to crack down on illegal operations, he added.
The administration also said on Friday in a statement posted on its official website that 45 people are to answer to criminal charges stemming from their alleged responsibility in a coal mine accident last year. The suspects include Wang Liujun, vice-chairman of Yichuan county committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Zhang Guoqing, head of the local court, and Wang Guozheng, the main executive of the mine.
In March 2010, a gas outburst at the mine in Yichuan county, in Central China's Henan province, left 44 miners dead and four others missing. The economic loss from the accident is believed to total 27.3 million yuan (US$4.2 million).
Party and administrative penalties have also been imposed on 32 officials, including Shen Qinghuai, deputy mayor of Luoyang city, Hao Songdao, head of the city's coal industry bureau, Guo Yipin, party secretary for the county, and Wu Ligang, head of the county government, according to the statement.