Over 2,110 people lost their lives in 596 gas explosions in coal mines in China last year with the work safety problem still remaining a tough one, according to the State Administration of Work Safety.
Coal Mine Accidents, Death Toll Decrease in 2003
Over 2,110 people lost their lives in 596 gas explosions in coal mines in China last year, according to statistics from the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS).
The SAWS released the figures on Wednesday, saying that the death toll dropped by 7.4 percent over the previous year, and the number of explosions decreased by 6.6 percent.
The statistics showed the number of coal mine accidents with the death toll above 30 people decreased by 22.2 percent to seven in 2003 with a total of 360 deaths, 13.7 percent fewer than the previous year.
The total number of coal mine accidents last year also decreased by 5.9 percent and the death toll dropped by 4.2 percent, said the statistics, which didn't disclose the specific figures.
However, the work safety problem of coal mines still remains a tough one, said deputy director of SAWS Zhao Tiechui.
He said the coal mine accidents took up 39.8 percent of the total accidents in China last year and the death toll accounted for 42.3 percent.
SAWS has started implementing specific indices to control the work safety of coal mines this year, and will further strengthen supervision.
Related local departments are also urged to focus more on the work safety of coal mines and to implement prevention measures, especially for those small-sized coal mines, which take up 90 percent of the country's total.
(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2004)