Coal mine accidents killed 173 persons in northwestern Shaanxi Province by October this year, the provincial safety watchdog of coal mine production said Thursday.
The accident number and death toll saw a year-on-year increase of 18 and 42 percent respectively, highlighting the "severe situation" of the safety management in Shaanxi's coal mining industry, according to the provincial committee of industrial safety.
Coal producers in towns are most vulnerable to accidents due to poor safety-guarantee facilities and the mine owners' indifference on safety operation rules, said an official with the provincial department of coal mine production, citing that more than 67 percent of the accidents and nearly 80 percent of the death toll were reported in these mines.
The production safety in the state-owned collieries, however, has been given due attention and both the accidents number and death toll decreased 72 percent, said the official.
The provincial government has decided to strengthen the management and supervision on the coal producers and the private coal mines will be the major targets in a coming safety examination in December.
(Xinhua News Agency November 25, 2005)