All small coalmines, which are poorly run, are forced to close by the end of June according to the industrial safety authorities. This order was issued after a number of serious coalmine accidents happened in different regions of the country.
A circular was issued by the State Bureau for Production Safety and State Administration of Coalmine Safety Supervision in a bid to tighten safety supervision, reduce major accidents, and minimize injuries and deaths in coalmine operation.
The first half of this year has seen successive coalmine accidents. Statistics show that from April 1 to May 16, 62 accidents occurred in coalmines, causing casualties of 503 people. Most of the accidents took place due to gas explosion, which were happened in the poorly run small mines.
These small coalmines, which are usually run by enterprises to gain profit for themselves, have no basic safety guarantee and their management paid less attention to government regulations on safety working and operation. It was often a case that they were hid from checking and supervisions made by the government departments concerned.
Recently, the central authorities in industrial safety have dispatched nine safety operation supervision teams, which will conduct a one-month inspection over mine operation in nine provinces and regions of the country.
What’s worth attention is that Cheng Andong, governor of western China’s Shaanxi Province, was given an executive punishment last week because the province had seen three major coalmine explosions within merely one month. This echoed what Premier Zhu Rongji said in March that the State Council would discipline local officials found responsible for any accident that results in a loss of human life.
Experts in industrial operation also suggest that related laws and regulations, which are workable, be enacted as soon as possible, so that the whole process, ranging from mine registration to operation, of the coal production will be managed according to law.
(www.china.org.cn by Guo Xiaohong 05/24/2001)