The Shanxi provincial government has ordered all coal mines in the province to close for one week for safety checks following three major accidents in the past week or so.
According to a government emergency circular, all the coal mines, except for four large state-owned ones, shall stop operations beginning Tuesday for one week, during which all employees, including officials, of the mines, will receive safety training. Those who fail to attend the training program will be demoted or dismissed.
Besides, all the 902 coal mines with high gas density will have to build gas monitoring systems in the week. Those fail to do so will not be allowed to reopen.
The provincial government also plans to close permanently a batch of small coal mines, and take strict measures against illegal mining activities.
The three serious coal gas explosions between Aug. 11 and 18 have left nearly 100 dead.
Liu Zhenhua, governor of the north China province, attributed the accidents to poor attention to safety procedures from administration to production.
(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2003)