A lack of ventilation and high gas density caused by illegal
mining resulted in the explosion that killed 28 people and left two
missing in north China's Shanxi Province last week.
The blast occurred on the afternoon of May 5 at Pudeng Coal Mine
in Puxian County of Linfen City. The mine had chronically
inadequate ventilation due to its lack of a sound ventilation
system, according to a report by China's State Administration of
Coal Mine Safety on Friday.
Ventilators and gas monitors had not been installed in the
70-meter-long tunnel. When gas density accumulated, a fire
triggered the explosion, said the report, which gave no indication
of the cause of the fire.
The mine, with an annual production capacity of less than
150,000 tons, had been ordered to stop production on April 29 for
illegal mining and safety hazards, but operations continued on
unproved coal beds.
The administration sources said the coal mine had two versions
of the pit plans: one to show inspectors and the other for real
On the day when the accident happened, 125 miners were working
underground, but regulations of the provincial work safety bureau
stipulated that no more than 44 miners should work at one time in
Poor management was also blamed for the accident. Only 131 of
the 329 miners have signed contract and of the 28 miners killed 26
had no contracts.
In March and April this year, another two coal mine accidents
killed 28 people in Linfen.
(Xinhua News Agency May 12, 2007)